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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible