James Miller - Future Premiership

The FA Premiership has had a lot of pressure to admit Celtic and Rangers over the last few days.

But this is not the only problem it has :-

  1. UEFA and FIFA want the size to be reduced to 18 clubs, so that players are under less pressure.

  2. There is also the problems of the finances of the relegated clubs. Most seem to go into Administration on relegation.

It strikes me though that what is needed is a fundamental rethink of football in England and perhaps in the UK.

Consider too, that there are many towns and cities in the UK, that have the population to support a top level club. If you include places like Aberdeen, Ipswich, Preston, Sheffield etc. you probably get a list of around 40-45 clubs.

You would have to include places like Bristol and Brighton that although they have only occassionally had clubs in the top level, they certainly have the population to support it.

This suggests to me that a two division Premiership of 42 or perhaps 44 clubs, with an 18-24 or 18-26 split.

Other points that should be implemented :-

  1. Three-up and three-down between the two divisions with the same promotion and relegation as now to the Nationwide League.

  2. The First Division of the Premiership could easily accomodate more breaks than now due to the four less matches.

  3. There might also be a break after Christmas in the First Division, when the Second Division would take centre stage in televised matches.

  4. Again to cut down matches for the First Division they would join at the 4th round of the FA Cup.

So far I have ignored the knotty problem of the Scottish clubs.

But wouldn't it be fair if all Scottish clubs joined a unified United Kingdom League. To avoid travelling the Nationwide or its successor, would probably have to be regionalised under the First or Second Divisions.

But much as I would like a unified league, it will never happen, as FIFA will never allow it without the merging of the four British International teams.

James Miller
August 2003