English FA scraps Football League expansion as calendar clash would hit new TV deal

November 16 – The biggest shake-up in the English professional football pyramid since the Premier League was set up in 1992 has been scrapped because of a calendar clash between the various parties running the national game.

Under the plans England would have had 100 teams in five divisions, up from 92, with a new fifth division of 20 clubs from 2019-20. There are currently 20 in the top flight and 24 in the Championship, League One and League Two.

The plans required the authorities to find additional weekends for league football but the Football Association has told the English Football League (EFL) that this is no longer viable.

The EFL hoped the revolutionary move would tackle fixture congestion and boost the finances of its members. But rescheduling would have involved moving FA Cup fixtures into midweek slots and the FA says it is no longer prepared to consider this following a new international broadcasting deal.

“If the weekend slots are not available, then there is simply no way we can meet the financial conditions as outlined at the very outset,” said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

“The stance the FA has adopted has brought the discussions to a premature end, before fully understanding what the financial outcome from the creation of a new distribution model could be. ”

“We are, of course, open to re-engaging in what is a hugely important debate that was designed to help shape the future of football in this country.”

Back in May when the plans were launched Harvey told the BBC that there were “clear benefits for everyone ” but the proposal generated mixed reaction from the clubs themselves.

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