League wary of threat from below

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The Independent Online
The Football League could be left in a state of utter confusion today if a "rebellion" of smaller clubs blocks restructuring plans. Chairmen of the 72 Nationwide League clubs will meet in a London hotel for an Extraordinary General Meeting where it had been expected they would ratify the new set- up.

But concern by some Second and Third Division clubs over the power to be wielded by the larger First Division outfits under the new proposals, could wreck the plans and leave the League in limbo. The proposals, tabled by Ipswich, Wolves, Oldham and Crystal Palace, will see the present six- man Board of Directors dismantled and replaced by an independently-chaired nine-man body, elected on both a regional and divisional basis.

The League president, Gordon McKeag, will immediately stand down as chairman. The new-look Board will commission an independent report considering, among various issues, the structure of the League and Board, the role of the chairman, and the possibility of appointing a Chief Executive.

The proposal needs 75 per cent approval, meaning that 19 clubs voting against would constitute a blocking minority. At least 13 clubs are understood to be prepared to vote down the proposals and one chairman predicted: "It will be a close call."