So once again the football world has been baffled by an announcement made by a governing body. On this occasion it comes from the FA, and their decision to suggest that we undergo a revamp of the English leagues, leaving us with five professional divisions, each of which with 20 teams. The real question is, why?
The system of four leagues of 92 teams has been around for over 20 years, and has been successful for over 20 years, so why change it now? As they say, don’t fix what isn’t broken, and the set up of the Football League in England certainly isn’t broken.
The Football League’s reasoning for this is that it will improve club finances. There are a number of teams in the lower divisions of English football that rely on the income created by those extra few home matches. For clubs in the higher divisions this matters very little, but for the likes of Accrington Stanley and Yeovil Town, this income is important for maintaining a safe financial position.
Not for the first time, it seems that the Football League have made a decision that suits Championship clubs. They are already financially secure and are able to spend big on players. Fulham spent £12 million on Ross McCormack and Burnley splashed out £9 million on Andre Gray. A couple of home games missed isn’t going to affect these clubs finances too greatly, but the Football League is deluded to think it will do any good for the finances of the lower league clubs.
What we have in the Championship is one of Europe’s most watched leagues, and certainly the best quality second division on the continent, if not in the world. This theatre is only helped by the regular weekday games that simply make the English leagues more exciting.
More important than anything else though, the fans are happy with the current league system. They are happy to have as many games as we already have, and at such regular intervals up and down the country. To change this in favour of a small number of clubs, many of whom already benefit from ridiculous Premier League parachute payments, would be simply ridiculous.