Gartside to propose plans

Bolton supremo to put forward two-tier system

Last updated: 21st April 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gartside to propose plans

Gartside: Radical plans

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

Gartside on plans
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Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside believes having a second Premier League would kill two birds with one stone.

The Trotters supremo is presenting a plan to his fellow chairmen on Thursday to introduce a new Premier League system of two, 18-strong divisions, including the likes of SPL giants Rangers and Celtic.

Gartside believes that having a smaller top flight would enable the league to shut down over winter while allowing more gaps in the schedule for the England team.

Gartside needs 13 of the remaining 19 chairmen to agree to progress his radical proposals, although he has controversially hinted relegation could be scrapped from Premier League II.

Double benefit

"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," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"It would even everything out and it would make it more competitive on that basis.

"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.

"I don't have the answers but it is certainly time for a debate - perhaps even on not having relegation from a second division of the Premier League."

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Comments (16)

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Brian Mcguinn (Rangers fan) says...

Firstly, I find this idea terrible and i'm a Rangers fan! How can you stop relegation? Where will the excitement be down the bottom? But if Rangers and Celtic were to go to England, within 5 years they would be challenging for the league; (Tier 1) I think most English clubs, if not all, are scared of the the Old Firm because they know what we will be capable of with the money we will gain! That's why it won't happen, the other Chairmen will be to scared incase they end up in tier 2, so they will 'Veto' it.

Posted 20:28 21st April 2009

Dave New (Liverpool fan) says...

I had to check the calendar to make sure it isn't April 1st. This has got to be a very bad joke. I can think of loads of cons for this but very few pros. I agree with others that the ENGLISH Premier League should be just that. I also think Scottish football is a joke and their teams would be a better fit with the Championship than the Premiership. I also do not see any advantage to removing relegation as a natural filter for quality. Otherwise, how do you maintain the competitive level. I also think it ironic that these suggestions come from a team that is a perennial bottom dweller. Self preservation anyone? As a fan who pays - albeit thur Satellite subscription services to watch the PL, I would also not be happy in the reduced offering. I am sure fans who have season tickets won't be happy at all - of course they'll get reduced rates................ right. Clubs still have the same annual fees to pay and will have to do so via reduced matches. Doesn't take much to figure out how that'll end.

Posted 19:25 21st April 2009

Josh Blake (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

I personally feel that bringing Rangers and Celtic into the PL is a terrible idea, there is no room for Irish clubs in the Prem.

Posted 19:16 21st April 2009

Trevor Parker (Luton Town fan) says...

Why not do something simple, assuming that Rangers and Celtic are invited to join the English League, not being funny by saying that as that is what it is. Then why not have 20 teams in Premiership, 20 teams in Championship and then relegate two from each league in the first two years equally one promotion in the same period and continue as is. After two years then you will have 18 in each league and Rangers and Celtic would find their level. Rangers and Celtic should join the Championship to start with. This would keep the interest at a high level. Incidentally what about Champions League and the FA Cup where do Rangers and Celtic fit in there?

Posted 18:58 21st April 2009

Hughes #1 (Leeds United fan) says...

The same 3 teams go down then come back up, out of the 3 that came up this season (Hull, Stoke and WBA) only WBA have played in recent years, and what about Wigan and Reading, they had never played in the top flight, obviously Gartside doesn't have a clue about football, it just shows most chairman are in it for the money and not the love of the game!, also Rangers and Celtic might have won a lot of trophies, but were any of them worth winning, these 2 teams are at best average premier league teams, and only have a fanbase because there the only 2 clubs in Scotland, the idea of no promotion is laughable, if Newcastle went down and didn't return immediately, does it mean a team the size of Newcastle would never play in the top flight?!?!

Posted 18:26 21st April 2009

Alex H (Bolton Wanderers fan) says...

I believe that Gartside's idea is ludicrous, and he should just keep his ideas to himself. He is getting paid thousands a year, takes no interest in our club as he employed Gary Mugson, and wants to muddle up the leagues, when at present they are fine. Yes the big 4/5 do have the massive monopoly and win everything and get most going for them (refereeing decisions etc). But where would the excitement be with two leagues separated away from the rest of the football league whereas now you occasionally see a team nearly breaking up the expected top 4, Everton nearly always manage to upset the odds and with O'Neill at Villa, anything is to be expected. The Premier League is widely regarded as the best league in the world and if you are going to change it and include the likes of Rangers and Celtic, that really isnt going to help anyone and will navigate away from the fact that the league as we have it now is the best and the way it should stay. Most of all the clubs that are fighting for their lives to survive wpuld struggle more, as the TV money would then be focused mainly on the top 2 leagues. It is a stupid idea, from a stupid man. Next time he comes up with an idea like that, should be the day the FA fire him from their board.

Posted 18:12 21st April 2009

Mike Fawcett (Arsenal fan) says...

I'd love to see Celtic and Rangers in the PL proper but scrapping relegation... awful idea. Sounds like he is trying to secure a place for Bolton in case they get relegated. What they should be pursuing is getting those 2 Scottish teams into the EPL. If Cardiff and Swansea were to earn promotion they would be eligible for the PL so why not make that the rule for Celtic and Rangers. The SPL wouldn't suffer as then all the young Scottish talent would get a game rather than sitting on a bench at the big 2 clubs and Celtic & Rangers would be able to sign PL quality players. I'm 100% certain that they would both sell-out their home games and as a previous poster said its really not much further than a trip to Pompey or Newcastle. If they think its potential problem is who will want to see a SPL without the big 2 they need not worry 1985 was the last time someone else won; I think its time for it to be freshened up.

Posted 17:15 21st April 2009

Sam Nicklin (Manchester United fan) says...

Well if it does go through, it'll be a while before it happens, in the meantime Bolton could easily get relegated! And if Charlton/Southampton/Leeds/Leicester are anything to go by then they could be in league two within four years! Then he'll look a right fool! Plus if there are only gonna be 36 teams in the top two, does that mean 8 teams will be sent down? where the hell are they meant to go? Lower league clubs with great stadiums and fans who could never make the premier league would be a tragedy! Furthermore, if you bring Celtic and Rangers in why not bring in Ajax and PSV then make it really fun!!! This idea should be laughed off, the FA could never separate the top flight from the football league pyramid!!!

Posted 17:13 21st April 2009

Nick Taylor (Arsenal fan) says...

Why should Rangers and Celtic be allowed in the english premier league. They are Scottish. I feel the same way about the Welsh teams too. Nothing against the teams personally but once that starts, it will go the way of a European super league, and I wont be able to afford any matches anymore. The premier league as it stands now is the best in the world, keep it that way

Posted 16:48 21st April 2009

Rhys Jaggar (Arsenal fan) says...

A few points to clear up here: 1. Glasgow is closer to many Premier League clubs than West Ham or Portsmouth - so away ends won't be affected there any more than they are at existing clubs. 2. The 'quality' of Celtic and Rangers would overwhelm the bottom 12 of a 36 Club Premier League and within a decade would overwhelm the bottom 24. 3. Bolton might drop into Premier League II more easily than they drop out of the current Premier League. 4. The aim of non-relegation from Premier League II might be tricky: I don't think you'll naturally find 36 Clubs much bigger than the rest. Not unless you merge a few...anyone ready to consider that? 5. I think you're looking at a 25,000 capacity as an entry requirement. Worth talking about, but a lot of implications for certain clubs.....

Posted 14:59 21st April 2009

Royston Green (Manchester United fan) says...

In principle it is a good idea if there were two premier leagues of 18 teams which would include the Scottish teams. I am not against Scotland teams but the majority of them are of a standard of the Blue Square leagues. The formation would allow the better teams and the international teams more time. What I would not agree to is to stop the promotion and relegation. A lot of the teams in the lower leagues in England and Scotland would be financially better off if they went semi-pro. The trouble with the English is they don't want to move with the times and become more realistic with their club's ambitions.

Posted 14:44 21st April 2009

Jon Harvey (West Ham United fan) says...

Again one of the so-called men of knowledge in our beautiful game comes up with a ridiculous proposal to try and make the league more "competitive".... Is this not what they tried to do with the original plan to create the Premier league? Why don't they look seriously at WHY the league is becoming a 3/4 horse race? Why not look at: - Wage caps on a team basis. - Fielding at least one homegrown English player - Or even a cap on ticket prices? By sharing the wealth between clubs we can make our leagues more open and competitive NOT creating more lucrative leagues so the rich get richer. For example: two premier leagues would surely mean the lower leagues getting less TV revenue and subsequently the divide getting bigger. Perhaps the FA could even consider avoiding extra-time and replays in cup games to reduce the number fixtures for a start?

Posted 14:37 21st April 2009

Martin Deakins (Manchester United fan) says...

I completely disagree with Gartside. For one, you de-value the rest of the england leagues still further and so the ability of english players to gain real experiance shrinks even further. And two, one of the things that makes the Premier League so hard for foreign players is the amount of games we play and the lack of a winter break. Ok it allows the England team more time with players, but lets be honest, capello doesn't appear to have any problems. Sounds like another pure money driven idea to me.

Posted 14:13 21st April 2009

Michael Lawrence (Liverpool fan) says...

I just can't understand why they would want to change the best league in the world right now. Fair enough their would be less games (which may benefit England national team) but is this actually what the common fan wants? and how can Mr Gartside suggest nobody getting relegated from the 2nd division, what will teams and fans near the bottom have to strive for, that is one of the worst ideas I have heard in a long time (well apart from Fergie's team selection on the weekend). seeing the same teams in the same two leagues is not my idea of excitement. That's probably why the idea came from a club where they play such exciting football (no offence Bolton fans)!!

Posted 14:11 21st April 2009

David Kershaw (Chelsea fan) says...

This is a terrible idea on a whole number of levels. Firstly, I enjoy watching football over the winter period, I pay my money and I want to watch football when i have some time off work over Xmas. Secondly, the teams that are most damaged by winter fixtures are those in the lower leagues who do not have the facilities to deal with snowy/very wet/ treacherous conditions; or have the squad size to endure more intense fixture list. The changes suggested above show no intention of giving a winter break to lower league squads. "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." This statement is ridiculous. many teams have come and go in the Premiership including Sheffield United, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Preston NE, Birmingham, Reading, Charlton, Hull, Stoke; a huge variety of teams!! Fewer games per season provides less revenue for clubs including ticket sales and TV rights. If it isn't broke, don't fix it; and in my opinion we are lucky to see the best league in the world week in, week out.

Posted 14:09 21st April 2009

John W (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

He wouldn't be interested in this plan if his club wasn't part of the 36 teams. The best way i can see to reduce fixture congestion is for the League Cup to be scrapped. I don't know the answer to this, but do other major European nations have 2 cup competitions running? Anyway, the 2 tier league idea is only good for the 36 in it. What's the point of being in the lower leagues if there is no chance of promotion to the next tier, and if the teams don't need to fear relegation then it's not going to be competitive.

Posted 14:06 21st April 2009

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