Alex Ferguson attacks plan to scrap relegation

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last night gave a withering response to the revelation that several of the biggest Premier League clubs want to scrap relegation and promotion in the top flight, describing it as "suicide".

The League Managers Association chief executive, Richard Bevan, said yesterday that the American and Asian owners of Premier League sides would be keen on a franchising model that would fly in the face of English footballing tradition and he fears that if more teams change ownership there could be a vote to abolish relegation, a move that would require the backing of two thirds of Premier League clubs as well as FA approval.

Ferguson said such a move was potentially disastrous. "If you look at the Championship at the moment, we have at least eight teams with tradition and history. What do you say to those eight teams? That they can never play in the premier division? I think that would be absolute suicide for the rest of the league and particularly the teams in the Championship. You might as well lock the doors. The only place you can make money and realise your ambitions is in the Premier League and you can't take that away from clubs like Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. All these great teams, who formed the nucleus of our old First Division all those years ago."

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 of the FA, which would expect to hear widespread opposition from the rest of the game.

McFadden seals Goodison return

Scottish striker James McFadden is set to complete a free transfer return after undergoing a medical yesterday. The 28-year-old played 109 games for Everton between 2003 and 2008 before moving to Birmingham for £5m. Toffees teenager Ross Barkley is set to sign a new long-term deal at Goodison Park.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss