In this fourth video of the Changing Football series, David Roberts, Corporate Partner, looks at the promotion and relegation rules. While fans understandably dream of seeing their club make their way from the lower leagues, through to the Championship, to ultimately join the Premier League, David questions the financial sustainability of this dream.
"One of the problems is that the [football] industry itself has changed dramatically since the introduction of the Sky broadcast funds and the creation of the Premier League and it's no longer financially sustainable for clubs to have those dreams. These dreams are unrealistic from a business perspective, corporate perspective and otherwise.
And that begs the question: should we continue the system that gives clubs in the lower leagues the fanciful chance of perhaps one day being a Premier League team? I believe it calls for a radical solution under which clubs are given notice that within 3 to 4 years' time, there will be a cut-off point after which the promotion and relegation into the top two tiers of football will cease. That will lead to a reasonable competitive solution up to that point but after which it will enable those clubs that don't make the top two tiers to reset and rebalance their financial obligations and change the way that they're structured in terms of a much more community-based model. And I think going forward, local fans will have their regional team to support but they will also have a Premier League or Championship team which they will follow."