2-Tier Premier League?

Posted on November 13th, 2009 | 72 Comments |

Gartside - man with a plan
Gartside - man with a plan
Premier League reforms are in the wind but what will they mean for Newcastle United?

The Premier League has been undertaking a ‘strategic review’ since November 2008 and plans to have new proposals in place by December 2010. Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has put forward plans that would lead to a two-tier Premier League of between 36 and 40 teams.

The original plan would have seen Rangers and Celtic invited to join the lower of the two tiers but that plan was rejected and there would now be no place for the SPL teams. Gartside’s new proposal is however being ‘taken forward’.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said:

As regards to Celtic and Rangers it’s a non-starter.

So we’ve made a clear and unequivocal statement and we’re going to move on from there. No means no.

The clubs constitutionally voted to say we’re not going to take this any further, Celtic and Rangers are not coming in.”

One of the aims of Gartside’s proposal is to even up the distribution of money in the Premier League because he’s concerned that too much of the money goes to the top 4 clubs. For example, last season Man Utd earned £52.3m in Premier League TV money as compared to West Brom’s 31.6m and then Man Utd earned another £20-33m from European competition.

Gartside said:

Addressing this polarisation of clubs and the increasing revenue differentials will, I believe, be the major strategic issue for the Premier League over coming years.

The Premier League is an exciting product for supporters and for television viewers, but there is no doubt that as the years go by, and the same few clubs continue to benefit from the huge additional revenues from the Champions League, the remaining clubs find it enormously difficult to challenge.

At the same time, the gap between Premier League revenues and those of the Championship continues to widen and I believe a ‘fear factor’ is beginning to emerge amongst Premier League clubs outside the top few.

It would even everything out and make it more competitive.

You could have 36 Premier League clubs split into 18 and 18 and that would also solve the problems of the winter break and supporting the England team.

We have already got to the situation where the three clubs that go down from the Premier League are usually the three that come up, although a couple of others might sneak in.

It would be revolutionary but I don’t think this would be as revolutionary as when the Premier League was set up, and we should open our minds to change. I know a lot of Football League clubs won’t like it – but a lot will.

If the FA and the Government are going to start looking at debt structure and financial constraints on clubs then we are going to have to do something.”

The traditional type of owner are something of a dying breed, instead you have the Sheikh of wherever [just west of Omar] and people like the Glazers coming in.

Local businessmen like Eddie Davies, the late Jack Walker, Dave Whelan and Steve Gibson have given their town teams unbelievable financial backing [what, no mention of Mike Ashley?].

They need to be protected in some way from the influx of outside investors with seemingly unlimited funds.”

I seem to remember the original plans had no provision for promotion/relegation between the new PL Tier 2 and the rest of the football league, which would be an excellent way to keep Bolton safe from relegation, but then I read something about allowing one team to change leagues (so long as it isn’t Bolton obviously).

Football League Chairman Brian Mawhinney thinks the whole thing is a non-starter though.

It is not going to happen – it is nonsense,” quoth he before he goes on to bash the idea with maths.

Let me do a little bit of arithmetic for you – Mr Gartside said he would like two leagues of 18 teams – that is 36.

The Football League started in 1888 and Mr Gartside kills it in 2009 – I don’t think so.

He has got 20 teams in the Premier League. He wants Celtic and Rangers – that means he needs 14 from the Championship.

You take 14 out of the Championship and it wrecks the Football League. So it started in 1888 and Mr Gartside kills it in 2009 – I don’t think so.”

So that’s a no then.

So what what all this mean for Newcastle anyway, assuming the plan ever got off the ground? I haven’t the foggiest!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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72 Responses

  1. An academic consideration as when it happens, we’ll be in a European Super League……….. (zzzzzzzzzzz, sweet dream)

  2. simply put, as much as I detest to say it, Man U have earned the revenues they generate, constant top 4 finishes, trophies, european games and decent players will get you that, success should be rewarded, he’s just pathetically bitter that he can’t emulate the success that they have generated, currently, the system works, you want to finish high to be promoted if youre outside the EPL and if youre in it you want to finish high to qualify for Europe, it isn’t broke so don’t fix it!

  3. woo hoo im glad they arent allowed to play here and if they do come in to the english leagues than they should start from the bottom and about the two tier thing that is completely unfair on teams in the lower leagues and i dont imagine they would leave us out of any possible plans but what if they did i know i wouldnt be hapy and what about leeds  they are a huge club that is going through a bad spell would they be included ??

  4. The whole idea is anabsolute shambles almost if not worse than game 39. I agree the wealth difference between the divisions is shocking but there are teams that manage to pull off the miracle like your burnley and Stoke, but there in lies another problem as we already have a multi tier premiership.
    The top 2 as only Chelsea have won the league in the last five year.
    Then the next 2 hopefully to beexpanded this year due to liverpools shocking year and man city and tottenham money and martin oniels good villa side.
    Then there’s about seven teams that battle it out for a hope of a euro place and the rest fight to survive.
    The system is broke as the top four are heavily in debt (moan u wouldn’t be but for the glazers) and then what will happen to the likes of man city when there owners get bored of thier play thing and cast it aside?

    The PL needs to put it house in order before it destroys itself.

  5. It’s amazing how they run scared of Celtic – probably because they have the biggest fanbase in the world and with the sky money would quickly become a top 4 side – pushing out one of their beloved London sides no doubt……
    They do need to do something though, because in some repects we already have 2 tiers – the so-called “big 4” (2 of whom get smaller crowds than us LOL), and the rest……

  6. hardly running scared, on a more political note, Scotland wanted it’s own parliament, they have their own flag, their own national anthem etc. so why exactly would we accept them into the ENGLISH Premier league?

  7. It’s amazing how they run scared of Celtic – probably because they have the biggest fanbase in the world

    no they dont

  8. If Celtic and Rangers are so keen to join the English league,  so be it.
    Let them start in the Blue Square conference,  and work their way up to the Premier League..

  9. thats fine Hugh, but under the rest of Gartsides proposal, the one that inc. Celtic & Rangers being in, the 2-tier EPL would be a closed loop, so nobody who was initially outside of it would be able to get in…
    the mans a genius

  10. that woulda changed Braveheart Komfy
    till I need you to come save me……”

  11. utd111…berwick are part time outfit and if they played in england it would probably be the conference north ….. the travel would only be local.

  12. granted then, don’t know the answer to that

    I still don’t believe they should be allowed to join the EPL though, just because they have “outgrown” the SPL, surely if they wanted to be a part of it the proposal should have been at the inception?

  13. Thanks for your opinion Komfort…..although as a proud Northumbrian I’m not sure I agree with you….
    My point however was to prove that there is a precedent for an English club playing in the Scottish league – which is why the english shouldn’t be so precious about the possibility of a scottish team (or two) playing in the english league.

  14. it is slightly different though UTD, part time football v the top level in both countries, the precedent is quite literally a different league

  15. Danny Boy – yes I agree it would have been better if it had happened from the beginning.  But the UK is one country – and not a very big one at that.  Celtic, and to a certain extent Rangers are huge clubs…and personally I would love to see them competing with the bigger english clubs in a British league.  I think it would add extra spice.
    People used to say that the Scottish league was an annual “2-horse race” and therefore boring – but you could say that about the EPL now with Chelski and Manure always the 2 involved.
    Something needs to change…  

  16. UTD111 – I dont know the history – did Berwick Rangers work their way through the Scottish League or were they adopted into it at a higher level?

  17. As a point of interest Gateshead tried to get into the Scotch leagues many years ago shortly after they had been shabbily been voted out of the English league at first time of asking.
    I don’t like the proposal but would probably view it with more equinamity if we are in the EPL when it happened, although I doubt if it will.  It’s a big carrot to the lower clubs and to some the stuff dreams are made of!

  18. Stardust – their first real league was the Scottish borders league and then they were subsequently elected to the Scottish League proper – at the bottom division I believe.   It’s an interesting club from our perspective too in the sense that there is a supporters trust who are part-owners of the club…..very topical LOL

  19. I would guesstimate that it’s the logistics that are the biggest issue, if they decide to bring them into it now, then who suffers? do we just increase the league by 2 and have 5 new teams, if not who suffers? is there only 1 promotion or 5 relegated? I know Gartside suggested it as part of an overhaul but let’s be honest, the most of it was sheer nonsense predominantly to protect the club he owns
    it’d be interesting to see how they compete but I still think I err on the side of you chose to be independent so live with it, sorry

  20. @ stardust
    berwick were originally owned by a scottish haggis grower, who grew the biggest haggis’s in europe. He had links thro the family tree of bonny prince charlie, who incidently played for berwick in its founding year. Bpc was their leading scorer and it was following that season, mary queen of scots invited them to join the scottish premier league.
    It was the following year when they beat glasgow rangers in the scottish cup final 86 -0, when they added the name rangers to their name. Hence berwick rangers.
    One of the most amazing facts tho, was berwick played all their home games with a haggis.
    If you require any more facts about any subject, just give me a shout.
    Wiki stavers

  21. I am all for change & “moving on” etc but only when it is clear that it is needed, what is so wromg with the EPL as it is?
    I also have vivid memories of our tangle with Rangers in 1969 and would not like a replay

  22. Ha ha nice one Troy….although Wiki is full of rubbish, you do know that don’t you LOL

    The other thing that gnaws away at the english argument of course is the presence of welsh teams in the english league…..in fact if Cardiff City continue their current rate of progress, they could soon be playing in the EPL….

    Scottish clubs should maybe be looking at racial equality and human rights legislation here!! (tongue firmly in cheek…..)  :)

  23. TomLeazes – did you go to the games?  I went to Ibrox for the away game but couldn’t get in to the home game.
    My vivid memory is the penalty save and our foolhardy leaps in the air…..then the resultant crowd “problems” LOL

  24. maybe that, or the conception of that is part of the problem UTD, “crowd problems” aren’t exactly uncommon at old firm games, and that’s 2 scottish teams, what would it be like if they were playing “the damned english” every week?

  25. This guff about a world wide fan base is only based around expats of scotland and Irelandits got very little to do with say the chinese picking them as a team as aposed to man utd or arsenal. The Old firm teams do have fans all over the world BUT they are all scots and paddies.

  26. UTD111 No I was a bit too young at the time (14) to go to any of the away games.One wonderful memory of the Rangers game was when Ollie Burton felled Colin Stein on the touch line right in front of the Leazes end and jabbed his fingers in Stein’s eyes!
    That was the one and only time I saw Ollie being naughty.
    Now McNamee:well that’s another story!

  27. Ah big John McNamee…wish we had him now…

    I once played darts against him in the Gosforth Hotel when he lived in Gosforth….I was beating him but eased up in case he got upset.  Took the bugga ages to hit double one LOL

  28. which explains why there “socio” model works Worky, they’ve got enough fans to support it!
    we can do 40,000+ but it’s still only roughly half what they get to midweek games!!

  29. Celtic took 80,000 fans to Seville for the 02/03 UEFA Cup final – they were jetting in from th US, Australia, New Zealand etc

    Haven’t seen Man Utd, Barcelona or anyone else show that sort of pulling power…….

  30. not a bad haul UTD but with Barca we’re talking 70,000+ IN the stadium, I was in Barcelona on a stag do the season they won the league for the last game (3-3 with Sevilla I think, there was beer….) the WHOLE city was in red & blue and barcelona is a BIG f**king city mate!!!

  31. Yep…impressive Danny-Boy….

    But maybe I should have said “Haven’t seen Man Utd, Barcelona or anyone else show that sort of pulling power AWAY FROM HOME!…….”

  32. thats because Man U never play away from home mate, that’s what happens when none of your fans actually live near your home stadium…. :P
    fair point, though tbh, would you want 80,000 jocks in Necastle after getting pummelled by the toon? lol

  33. i was in the nou camp a few years ago when the toon played them in the champions league – there was thousands of geordies and about 25 barca fans…it was pissing down with rain all weekend but it didn’t stop us having a brilliant time …fab city.

    ….batty was outside selling umbrellas and didn’t get in to see the game.

  34. I reckon if they were playing regular league football it would all settle down to be honest, and the authorities would soon learn how to manage them.
    When I was living in Edinburgh I used to drink on Easter Rd.  The Rangers and Celtic games were so different in the way they were managed.  Rangers were met at their buses, marched to the ground by a police escort, then marched back to their buses afterwards.
    When Celtic came it was totally different – they just wandered around and there was no trouble.
    Neither club brought loads of fans with no tickets though.
    The only pitched battle I saw on Easter Rd was caused by the “Scotland United” casuals after a Hearts game. And they include people from Leeds, Chelsea etc 

  35. @ worky
    did you know you are incorrect with your claim barca have the biggest fan base.
    In fact its crewe alexandria.
    They have 5 billion fans worldwide but are also famed for their quietness.
    They never brag they belong to the club and only a few thousand are selected on a weekly basis to attend their games.
    Can you put your hand on your heart and say you ve ever seen the same crewe fan and consecutive matches. I cant. .
    Apparently they generate so much merchandise sales they are the richest club in the country.
    However the fans have a pact never to wear their colours in case it causes mass hysteria.
    All their cupboards and drawers are full of scarfs and first team shirts. Have you ever seen one on the streets. I haven t.
    Crewe adopted their name of their very first manager, alexandria the great back in the days of the christian crusades and robbed the middle east of all their riches.
    If you need to know any more facts. Wiki stavers will help you out.

  36. loved it Komfy, days on the beach or wandering around looking at the “Architecture” *ahem*
    and Nights on the piss, friendly people and always a party
    good times

  37. aye danny i’ve been back 5 times since , the last time was two weekends ago – love the place even though it’s very pricey.

  38. tell me about it!!
    we bought Barca shirts and split them with our own teams, typical I was the only bloody toon, cost me a bomb to buy the NUFC shirt only to cut in half and sew it to half a barca shirt, locals loved it though, we had some laughs that weekend

  39. I’ve heard this Crewe Alexandra story before…..but I reckon it only goes around because the huge Hamilton Academicals fan base is even more secretive  ;)

  40. watching a street entitainer in barca once and a guy try to pich me wifes purse so he got a right hook

  41. you’ve blown it now Troy, there’ll be mass suicides up & down the country now – those disciples of alexandria that have now been rumbled

  42. aye batty it’s funny now when you look back  but it was’nt at the time …. remember the lucky lucky men running you the length of the ramblas for nicking their pitch haha..

  43. i mean this is how i rate the leagues and this also shows that countries population

    1 epl                            england 51 mil
    2 la liga                        spain 40 mil
    3 serie a                       italy 58 mil
    4 bundesliga                  germany 82.5 mil
    5 ligue 1                       france 60 mil
    6 portugal                     portugal 10 mil
    7 holland                       holland 16 mil
    8 turkey                        turkey 62 mil
    9 russia                         russia 142 mil
    10 scotland                    scotland 5 mil
    11 greece                      greece 11 mil

    now considering the size of scotland are they doing that bad ??
    for example portugal has the second least in terms of population and they have twice the amount of people scotland has

  44. now considering the size of scotland are they doing that bad ??

    i mean this is how i rate the leagues and this also shows that countries population

    1 epl                            england 51 mil
    2 la liga                        spain 40 mil
    3 serie a                       italy 58 mil
    4 bundesliga                  germany 82.5 mil
    5 ligue 1                       france 60 mil
    6 portugal                     portugal 10 mil
    7 holland                       holland 16 mil
    8 turkey                        turkey 62 mil
    9 russia                         russia 142 mil
    10 scotland                    scotland 5 mil
    11 greece                      greece 11 mil

    now considering the size of scotland are they doing that bad ??
    for example portugal has the second least in terms of population and they have twice the amount of people scotland has

  45. Think it would be a good idea to have both Rangers an Celtic as part of a two tier EPL.
    It would certainly make things a bit more competitive, with as many as eight to ten teams competing for silverware instead of the usual four or five.
    The idea of a second tier is even more intriguing,  could provide more funds than the present  revenue  earned by Champions league teams and therefore a safety net,  that plus the fact increased funding  could also bring in more talented players, resulting in a top two levels unmatched throughout the world.
    Of course I realize how difficult it is to change anything in a tradition ridden country, with all of the petty quarrels and national rivalry`s.
    Did anyone notice that both Cardiff & Swansea are doing well in the Championship, ah but they are Welsh right !
    Noticed no one entered a genuine  argument on behalf of keeping them (Celtic & Rangers) out, only repeating such nonsense as they should start in the lowest division.
    Yes there`s a certain sectarian and racial downside connected to both clubs, but that`s also not unknown in the present EPL.
    Someone mentioned the fact Celtic took eighty thousand fans to Seville
    and as I recall not a spot of bother, go figure.

  46. Yo Barnstormer,
    “They have fans all around the world, but they are all scots and paddies”
    So scots are scots but the Irish are paddies, eh ?

  47. Chuck, the ‘welsh’ teams being in the english league.
    Wales is actually still a province of england, not a separate country, don’t tell the welsh though.
    But i’m down with the 2 tier system. With no relagation, a la the american socialistic (ironically enough) system.
    Lower leagues become college teams, hence, feeder/draft clubs.

  48. Barny,
    i’m sure you’ll find ‘Celts’ in the US, Aus, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, France, Portugal, to name a few.

  49. summerof69 says:

    workyticket says:
    November 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm
    “Barcelona are estimated to have the world’s biggest fanbase

    actually flamengo off brasil are  estimated to have the worlds largest fan base of 33 mil”

    69, According to Sport-Markt’s annual ‘Football Top Twenty’ report, Barcelona have estimated to have 44.2 million fans, though it’s  actually declined from the year before.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it! ;-)


  50. “Put that in your pipe and smoke it !
    S`up Workey !    Lumpen Proleteriat  getting  y`all down ?

  51. Clint to Barney…..dont ask me ?
    I`m sure you will find celts in US, Canada, Aussie, NZ,and other places, to name a few……..
    And ?

  52. They should create a west european super league with sides from smaller countries. Cut down the spl to two game instead of 4 a year leaving a 22 game season. Use the remaining weeks for a new league with other big sides across small countries.
    first half o season smaller scottish league
    second half a european league with teams like ajax and psv