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6Notts County14121
7Accrington Stanley14120

9Crawley Town14-120
19Cambridge Utd14-516
20Leyton Orient14-215

24Newport County13-88

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On the Eve of Phoenix

By: Steve
Date: 25/11/2001

WELL, waking up on Saturday morning, I was greeted by this ridiculous 'Phoenix League' idea. Football has become too money-orientated in recent years, and I for one am tired of smaller clubs like Grimsby Town being pushed around as the also-rans of football.

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How can a SECOND division club like Reading be considered for one of the places in this new league? Oh wait, I forgot, it's not about how good your team is anymore, it's about how fancy your ground is.

This smacks of the situation in Rugby League when Huddersfield Giants finished bottom of the Super League for three or four season on the trot, yet stayed up on account of their nice ground (The McAlpine).

Clubs like Grimsby, Crewe, Stockport etc. have worked their way up the leagues, and for a club like Reading, who have NO top-flight experience, to be propelled into the top echelons of English (or should that be British with Celtic and Rangers in the pipeline as well) football without doing anything to deserve this recognition, is beyond me. The supposedly 'smaller clubs' are being swept under the carpet, and possibly forced into playing part-time, all because their ground doesn't hold 30,000 - or have undersoil heating.

Does this mean that clubs like Leicester City will be pushed into the same boat as us smaller teams, because their ground isn't particularly an oil-painting.

I hope the Football League find some way to resolve this, because the day this idea goes ahead, it is a VERY sad day for football.

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