Richard Scudamore says scrapping relegation is 'nonsensical'

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has rubbished talk of scrapping relegation and promotion in the top flight, labelling the suggestion "nonsensical".

League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan claimed earlier this week that the American and Asian owners of Premier League clubs would be keen on a franchising model that would fly in the face of English footballing tradition.

But Scudamore today insisted there was "absolutely no appetite" for such a change.

He told Sky Sports News: "Well, (a), I could never see it; and (b), there's been no serious debate about it at all.

"It's just a nonsensical starting point...it's scare-mongering of the worst order in my view.

"There is absolutely no appetite for it. You just can't make statements without being able to back it up.

"I'm probably the person sitting with the most evidence. I speak to the clubs on a regular basis. I speak to all the owners - both foreign and British - on a very regular basis and there's no appetite for it whatsoever."

He added: "The whole promotion/relegation thing is the lifeblood of football in this country."

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all in American hands, Manchester City are run from Abu Dhabi, while other clubs including Chelsea and Blackburn also have foreign investors.

Asked for his response to Bevan's claim that the Asian and American owners were in favour of the idea, he said: "My reaction was to ask him precisely who they were and what they were saying and he was unable to substantiate it in any meaningful way - as I knew he wouldn't be able to.

"This idea that the foreign owners are somehow more interested in this than the UK owners is just a misconception."

Football League chairman Greg Clarke concurred with Scudamore.

He said: "I wouldn't like to get rid of it at all.

"I like competition, I like the life-or-death scrap at the end of the season - people trying to avoid relegation, compete for promotion.

"I think 75% of the games would be dead after Christmas if there were no relegation pressures, and then why would people watch?

"My view is the more excitement there is, and the more promotion and relegation there is, the better the product is for the fans watching on television and at the grounds."

Speaking on Monday at the Professional Players Federation conference in London, Bevan said: "There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League.

"If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen."

He added: "You'll find that with American owners and you'll find that with some of the Asian owners as well.

"If you look at sport all around the world and you look at sport owners trying to work out how to invest and make money, you'll find that most of them like the idea of franchises.

"If you take, particularly, American owners, without doubt there have been a number of them looking at possibly having more of a franchise situation.

"That would mean no promotion or relegation.

"That would obviously not be good news for English football.

"You need to make sure that the FA is strong enough to ensure that the principles on which our clubs are run, if I'm an owner coming in, I must recognise and embrace the history, the tradition, the supporters, the community, the philosophy of actually how this club should be operating and not deciding my club should be taken abroad or whatever."

Even if a two thirds majority of Premier League clubs voted in favour of abolishing relegation, the move would still be unlikely to come about as the league's own rules dictate it would also require approval from the Football Association, which would expect to hear widespread opposition from the rest of the game.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on Monday evening branded the possibility of such a change as "suicide" for clubs outside the top flight, while Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas added his voice to the opposition on Tuesday and Wigan chairman Dave Whelan insisted he would pull his team out of the Premier League if promotion and relegation was scrapped in the English top flight.

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
peopleJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice