London (AFP) – There will be no “clubs from non-English leagues” or Premier League B teams in a new-look English Football League, the governing body for England’s three divisions below the Premier League said Thursday.
It has long been suggested that Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers could join a revamped English league but the EFL’s announcement put paid to those hopes.
Plans to alter the current three division format to four leagues of 20 were announced earlier this year.
The issue then was where the extra eight clubs to bring the numbers up to 80 would come from.
That led to talk that Celtic and Rangers could be invited to join a new National League Three, or Premier League B teams, could be asked to make up the numbers but such proposals were rejected by the existing 72 clubs.
The meeting also came to the view that EFL clubs should play through a winter break if one is introduced into the English game.
If adopted, the new structure — outlined in a document entitled the ‘Whole Game Solution’ — would mean five professional divisions in English senior football, headed by the Premier League, all with 20 teams each.
But the EFL meeting said that if the numbers were realigned, their preference would be for the extra eight clubs to make up League Three to come from the division below, the National League.
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “The logical place for many was to source the additional teams for League Three from the National League but we felt it important that the debate was introduced at an early stage and an opportunity was provided for all club owners’ and executives’ to voice any opinions and, where applicable, table concerns.
“We will now continue our consultation with the National League with a little more certainty as to what any change could mean for them.
“These conversations will include the FA in their capacity as the governing body not a competition organiser.”
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