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The Football League's AGM - Storm Expected!

By: Graham Howes
Date: 05/06/2003

THE Football League's AGM at Gillingham FC today will see all 72 member clubs given the opportunity to formally vote on a number of major proposals affecting the future of the game.

The league chairmen will today try to ratify the new proposals. The administration penalties are on the agenda. Though there seems a real fight at what level of penalty should be imposed.

Walsall chief executive Roy Whalley feels that clubs warrant instant relegation. However Derby's secretary Keith Pearson feels points reduction would be satisfactory. Another with differing views was Nottingham Forest chief executive Mark Arthur he feels that relegating sides would just compound a bad situation worse. Arthur is in favour of waving the right to promotion imposed on administration clubs.

Other things on the agenda to be voted on is parachute payments to second and third division sides just relegated. Whereby clubs relegated from the first would get a helping handout of £120,000. Relegated second division sides would be helped with in tune off £50,000.

This would mean Grimsby Town would net a £120,000 windfall if the proposal is accepted.

Also on the agenda to be voted on is the new play-off system. Whereby as mentioned before 6 clubs will be involved from next season if it gets the green light from the football league managers. However it is not so clear if this will get the green light as since the initial meeting, opposition to the proposal has been growing.

The idea was the brainchild of Crystal Palace chief executive Phil Alexander.

A list of other things to be on the agenda :-

  • 1. All players to include promotion relegation clauses in there contracts to aid clubs wage structure.

  • 2. Lowering the stadium criteria for conference sides who try to gain football league status. At present they must comply that the stadium has a capacity of 6,000. The new proposed idea would reduce this figure to 4,000.

    Obviously the main crux of the meeting is to attempt to change the football league's insolvency policy. To prevent what many feel that Leicester cheated there way out paying bills to get promoted. While others reduced overheads to make the club solvent and make its payments.

    One thing is for sure. This will be a historical and heated meeting of league chairmen.

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