Football: League chairmen to oppose cut

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The Independent Online
Football League club chairmen are likely to reject a bid to reduce the First Division to 18 clubs. A proposal to cut both the Premier League and the First Division to 18 clubs, with just two being promoted and relegated each season, will be discussed by League chairmen in London on 11 December.

The proposal comes from a League working party dealing with restructuring the whole organisation, and their ideas will be put before an EGM of clubs in February.

David Sheepshanks, the Football League chairman, said: "A three-up, three- down system remains vital to the continued success and prosperity of the game in this country. The current agreement between the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League remains binding."

Meanwhile, talk of Coca-Cola withdrawing their support for the cup competition they sponsor has been firmly scotched by a league spokesman.

Dennis Signy, the League's PR consultant, said: "Coca-Cola extended their existing contract in January at an increased fee of pounds 2m a year for three years, and they did that in the knowledge that the European place was in jeopardy."

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