Football League Overhaul - The key questions answered


The Football League has proposed a radical shake-up of the game by adding a fifth division by the 2019-20 season.

Here are some of the key questions surrounding the proposal.

Action from Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff

Action from Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff

What is the plan?

The Football League wants to alter its structure to create four professional leagues of 20 teams. The Premier League will still be the top tier of English football, with its 20 clubs, with the Football League administering the next four leaving 100 professional teams.

Why does it need implementing?

The Football League wants to alleviate fixture congestion by removing midweek matches.

Sheffield United celebrate scoring against Chesterfield

Sheffield United celebrate scoring against Chesterfield

What do the clubs think?

The proposals were sent to clubs on Thursday. The Football League needs 90 per cent, or 65 of its 72 clubs, to vote in favour for these changes to occur. Early signs are not positive - Bradford's joint chairman Mark Lawn branded the proposals "ridiculous" and added: "If we were voting now I'd be voting against it", while Accrington owner Andrew Holt said: "I don't recognise it as a sensible plan. It's just not going to get our support."

When will the vote take place?

June 2017.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom

What about promotion and relegation in 2019?

The League needs to resolve how relegation and promotion would be dealt with in the lead-up to that period. There will be no relegation from League Two and six new teams will enter the league, in addition to the two promoted from the National League.

Seven Championship clubs could be relegated. Won't they be unhappy at the prospect?

Yes. Although chief executive Shaun Harvey insists after the first year a club's chance of promotion is increased, with four fewer teams.

Where will the six new teams come from?

Most likely from the National League, although Premier League B teams - and even Rangers and Celtic - could be in the equation.

What about the FA Cup?

Harvey says if his proposals are successful there could be further changes, including the removal of FA Cup replays, playing entire rounds of the cup in midweek and introducing a winter break.