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The Football League Proposal To Change The Rules!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 26/04/2003

THE Football League has announced plans to revolutionise the game outside the Premiership. Football League chairmen meeting at Leicester City's Walkers Stadium, agreed in principle to three major proposals.

1. Salary Capping

Third Division clubs will have their wages capped as a percentage of annual turnover from next season. This salary capping will also apply to the first and second divisions for season 2004-05.

2. Playoffs

The League also agreed to proposals to extend the Football League play-off tournament to six teams from next season but all games will be contested over one leg only in the following format.

  • Fifth-placed team v Eighth-placed team
  • Sixth-placed team v Seventh-placed team
  • Third-placed team v Winner of Game 1
  • Fourth-placed team v Winner of Game 2
  • The final will be Winner of Game 3 v Winner of Game 4

    3. Administration

    The Football League is concerned that clubs have used administration as a way of escaping debts, thereby gaining an advantage over their rivals which could harm football's image, therefore clubs entering administration could now face an immediate deduction of between six and 12 points, or even relegation at the end of the season. In addition to that, the League are proposing that;

  • Clubs in administration will be barred from voting on League matters
  • Members of League board whose clubs falls into administration automatically lose their position on the board
  • Any club spending an entire season in administration relegated
  • A club going into administration twice in three years would have their membership of the League withdrawn
  • Clubs coming out of administration agree to work within an agreed `player budget' for a minimum period of the existing season and one full season afterwards

    The wage capping and play-off decisions would be put forward for ratification at the League's annual meeting on 5 June, with an extraordinary general meeting to be arranged for ratification of punishments for clubs who enter administration.

    "These are three significant developments. The clubs understand this relates to moving football forward under the umbrella of good governance," said Football League chairman Brian Mawhinney. "The clubs understand this relates to moving football forward under the umbrella of good governance."

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