Football: Premier League seeks two-up two-down system

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The Independent Online
The Premier League is on a collision course with the Football League over the top flight's demands to renegotiate the relegation and promotion format and its clubs' participation in the Coca-Cola Cup.

Premiership clubs, anxious to maintain their lucrative share of Sky's sponsorship money in the top division, have given the Football League 12 months' notice that they want to change the present system. They want a review of the promotion and relegation format, changing three-up and three-down to two-up and two-down and bringing in an option for clubs to withdraw from the Coca-Cola Cup.

However, the Football League has insisted that the original agreement drawn up between itself, the Premier League and the Football Association is binding, although it is prepared to hear the new demands and assess their merits.

The Scottish Premiership seems certain to arrive next season. Plans by the 10 Premier Division clubs to establish a new league by August were backed at two special general meetings of the Scottish League at Hampden Park yesterday. Now the matter will go before the league management committee tomorrow, who will decide whether to ratify the decision.

Fifa, the sport's world governing body, will not announce the findings of its report into crowd disturbances in England's World Cup qualifier against Italy in Rome last month until 2 December. A Fifa spokesman, Andreas Herren, denied any significance in the date, just two days before the teams learn their group opponents for next year's finals.

"The FA has been advised this morning that the disciplinary committee took a decision yesterday regarding the missile-throwing during the match," he said.

"[But] it is subject to further consideration and investigation by the organising committee, and match organisation will be one of the topics under consideration."

The FA's report into the crowd violence in Italy, which took into account testimony from England supporters who had been at the game, concluded that the Italian authorities had been guilty of "deliberate intimidation and sometimes extreme provocation".

Aston Villa's Yugoslavian striker Savo Milosevic could be moving to Napoli. A delegation from the Serie A club is due in Birmingham today for transfer talks with the Villa chairman, Doug Ellis.