Cautious reaction to league revamp

PROPOSALS for a huge shake-up of the Football League have got a lukewarm response from Rotherham United and other clubs.

The Football League wants to create an extra division in 2019-20, making four tiers of 20 teams in order to cut down on fixture congestion, particularly Tuesday night games.

The Premier League and the Football Association have backed the plans “in principle” and they will be discussed when FL club chairmen hold their annual conference next month.

The reaction has been mixed so far, with many worried that clubs will not be able to recover the financial losses of having fewer home games each season. Others in the game believe there are other ways to cut down on midweek football without undertaking such a radical overhaul of the league structure.

Although the Millers and their chief operating officer, Paul Douglas, are open to the idea of innovation and change and believe the Football League's intentions are laudable, they also want to preserve the game's traditions and make sure the wishes of the fans are met.

Mr Douglas told the Advertiser: “The idea of reducing the amount of games clubs play maybe sounds fine in theory but I think clubs will struggle to make up for the lost revenue. That will put increased pressure on them to find alternative ways of finding that revenue and I don't think there will be anything like the take-up on Saturdays to compensate for that.

“With the odd exception, people still enjoy Tuesday night games under lights. They are a great occasion, they have their own special qualities, and I personally don't think their time has gone or that there is a clamour among supporters for them to end. Of course they don't want to be travelling long distances on Tuesdays and it is a regret that there are so many of them, but this to me won't be a solution.

“We'd like to see less travel on Tuesday nights but there are other ways of doing it."