Sunday, July 30, 2017


Off You Go - Good Riddance

So – as a follow on from an idea I floated in the last blog.  Here’s the League 1 Minus 10 manifesto for English football.   I thought about this for a whole 15 minutes.

For the Many (I stole that bit)

1        The European Super League

The Creation of European Super League – the top 6 can take their toys and go and play in that amongst themselves with all the other ridiculous clubs in Europe.  Someone else can sort out the logistics of that because I don’t care.  All I care about is that less dubious character money orientated players will be left in the English League and less plastics fans to ruin my matchday experience.  All the big money will be in the European League so all the parasites will swarm towards that.  Sky Sports will of course throw all their money at that and with Sky Sports going, all the Liverpool pundits can go with them.  Jeff Stelling and Matt le Tissier are of course given a free transfer to either BBC or ITV.  See English League TV Deal Section.

2        The English League

The English League will consist of 4 divisions as it does now. 

These will be named Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and Division 4.  Terms like ‘Premier’, ‘Super’ will not be used, nor anything that even closely comes into territory of branding.

The current Championship Trophy will take its rightful place back as the Division 1 trophy.  Traditional.

These four divisions will contain 92 clubs so we have the same number of clubs as we do now and it makes it more difficult for the European Super Clubs to come back.  They won’t want to anyway, until they realise it’s all very boring travelling all over Europe, by which time it will be too late.

2.1       Promotion and Relegation

The Winners of Division 1 will be promoted to the European Super League should they wish to go. 

If they go, the bottom placed English side comes into Division 1 and have to adapt to the rules.  This will probably mean selling a lot of their players to the remaining European Super League clubs.  When they don’t want to sell their players, they will have to deal with players strikes and concerted media campaigns.

Four up, four down between the English divisions.  The playoffs are not all evil as it does keep more teams involved until the end of the season but the basic sporting unfairness of a team finishing 6th getting promoted over a team who has finished 20 points ahead of them totally outweighs this.

2.2       Players & Transfers

There will be a quota of 9 England qualified players in every match day 18.  This should be easier to implement post-Brexit if it ever happens.  The current ‘homegrown’ criteria is plainly ridiculous when we have Spanish internationals with 50 caps counting as homegrown and similar for a French international who has been signed from an Italian club for £90 million.  Once a player plays a competitive match for another country, then they’re not England qualified any more.  Other British countries are a bit of a grey area here.

There will be a salary cap per division.  You get relegated, your money drops if you are over the cap for the division below.  No exceptions.

Agents fees will be capped at a fixed fee, as will the players signing on fee.  This will be paid by the player out of their signing on fee, not by the buying club.  This should get rid of the more ridiculous agents who are left if they haven’t all defected to the European Super League.

2.3       Loan System

Loan system to change. 

No loans to clubs in the same division as you.  It’s plainly ridiculous when you think about fairness of competition.

Loans only allowed for Under 21 players to a lower division. 

Maximum of two loans per squad.  Loan players cannot play in Cup competitions.
No loans of players from abroad.

2.4       Administration

The English Football League, FA Cup and League Cup will be administered by The Football League.

The Premier League can look after the interests of the 6 clubs in the European Super League, like they do now. 

The Football Association can run the England national side but the best solution would be if the FA and the Football league merge to form one governing body.

2.5       Domestic Cup Competitions

2.5.1       The League Cup

The League Cup will be played between the 92.  The European Super League Clubs don’t want to play in this anyway.

All rounds from 1st to Semi-Final to be played midweek.

The League Cup Semi-Finals will be played over 2 legas as they are now.  This makes it different to the FA Cup.

The League Cup Final will be played at Wembley on a Sunday, 3pm kick off in March

2.5.2       The FA Cup

The FA Cup will extend invitations to enter to the English European Super League English clubs.  They have to abide by the 9 English qualified players in the match day 18 rule.  If they don’t want to enter, they won’t get invited again for another 3 years.

All rounds to be played on weekends.  No replays.

The FA Cup Semi-Finals will be not be played at Wembley but at the biggest English League grounds available for clubs not involved based on geography of the semi-finalists.

The FA Cup Final will be played at 3pm on the last Saturday of the season.  No other games will be played that day.  There is absolutely no need to play this game after 5pm because fans can’t get home afterwards.

2.5.3       The Football League Trophy

The FL Trophy will be played between clubs in Division 3 and 4.  The European Super League and Division 1 and 2 clubs will not be allowed to enter their Under 9’s or whatever stupid rule is in place now.

2.6       TV Deal

The TV deal for the league will be from Free-to-Air channels – BBC, ITV, Dave etc.  This keeps the money down which is a good thing.  No pay TV channels will be allowed to bid.  Any live games will only be screened on terrestrial free-to-air TV.

Jeff Stelling and Matt le Tissier to transfer from Sky as presenters.

2.7       Kick Off Times

Kick off times will be Saturday 3pm.  One game a week on Sunday 5pm for TV. 
Any Tuesday/Wednesday 7.45 pm games can be screened also.

No games will be moved because they clash with European Super League games.

2.8       Fixtures

Midweek / Sunday evening League games will not involve long distance travelling.  75 miles maximum.  Same applies for games on Bank Holidays.  It really shouldn’t be that hard to schedule it.

2.9       Fans Costs

There will be a maximum Season Ticket price per division.  Maybe £500, £400, £300, £200.  Kids under 16 should be £5 a game maximum.

Maximum charge for an away game is £20, £15, £10, £5

Kits will be worn for two seasons – two kits per team.  No colours can appear on both kits.

2.10    Ground Rules

Selfie Sticks are banned

Any device bigger than a mobile phone is banned

Anyone taking part in a Mexican Wave will be evicted

Anyone buying or selling or wearing a half and half scarf within a mile of any football ground will be issued with a life ban.

3        Conclusion

None of this will ever happen.  

Sadly, we’re too far down the road and no one will be interested in going back to anything remotely resembling pre-1992 football.  There’s too much self interest and too much money involved.  Would any owners of Premier League clubs vote for anything like this – of course they wouldn’t because of the loss of income from not being in a league with the big boys.  So, it’s not going to happen but I bet there are many out there who can remember pre-1992 who would gladly back a version of the proposals laid out above – even if some of them are far fetched and not fully thought out. (at all).  

If anyone wants to make any suggestions / improvements then I’m all ears.

They say nostalgia makes you think things in the past were better than they were and sure, there are some things now that are better now – pitches, stadiums, training grounds etc but something has been lost – soul.


  1. Sounds like you're describing the championship or league one, which i enjoyed way more than the last few seasons in the premiership.

  2. How about a rule on TV coverage where every club per league gets an equal amount of tv games. Same as American Football. Then we never have the terrible big club favoritism like we do now.

  3. All televised games to be agreed at the beginning of the season, meaning no fixture changes a few weeks before games