Football: Clubs back restructuring

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Peace broke out yesterday as lower division clubs backed plans for the restructuring of the Football League.

Representatives of 69 of the 72 Nationwide League clubs met for an extraordinary general meeting in central London to discuss the new set-up. Some Second and Third Division clubs had been concerned over the power that some larger First Division clubs might wield.

However, when the measures, which will see the present six-man board of directors replaced by an independently chaired nine-man body, were put to a vote, it is understood that dissent was confined to single figures.

The Government have urged the Premier League to give financial support to lower division clubs so that they can meet the 1999 deadline for ground safety improvements.

Iain Sproat, the Sports Minister, yesterday reaffirmed the Government's commitment to deliver the Taylor Report recommendations on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in three years' time as another report detailed the Football Trust's cash crisis.