Some EPL owners against relegation
LONDON -- Some of the Premier League's foreign owners want to abolish the relegation and promotion system, a senior English soccer executive said Monday.
With half of the Premier League's 20 clubs under foreign ownership, League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan said if more teams are sold to overseas investors they could force a dramatic change to the rules.
"There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League," Bevan said at the Professional Players Federation conference in London. "If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen."
There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen.” -- League Managers' Association CEO Richard Bevan
Forcing through any change to the Premier League's rules requires the support of 14 of the 20 clubs.
"Certainly you'll find that with American owners and you'll find that with some of the Asian owners (they have been talking about scrapping relegation)," Bevan said on the sidelines of the conference.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United and Sunderland are owned by Americans, while Blackburn is under Indian ownership and Queens Park Rangers has Malaysian backers.
Under the current system, the three bottom clubs are relegated each season from the top flight to the second-tier Championship, while three clubs are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.
Bevan wants The Football Association to implement rules that would prevent the current promotion system from being changed.
"If you look at sports all around the world and you look at sports owners trying to work out how to invest to make money, you will find that most of them like the idea of franchises," Bevan said. "If you take particularly American owners, without doubt, there have been a number of them looking at having more of a franchise situation and that would mean no promotion or relegation.
"Obviously if I was an American owner and I owned a football club or I was an Indian owner I might be thinking I would like to see no promotion or relegation, my investment is going to be safer and my shares are going to go up in value."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press