Swansea City Head For Premiership Football?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008, 5:20
2 mins read

Only three years after changing divisions one, two and three to Championship, League One and League Two, an increased television deal has brought the proposal – fielded by MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkleman – to change the name of the Championship to Premiership B in much the same way that they have a Serie A and Serie B in Italy.   Under the new scheme there is no plans to change the titles for Leagues One and Two which will remain as they are.

Winkleman believes that the changing of the Championship title will also attract more interest from other European TV channels who would consider the live coverage of matches on a Saturday afternoon earning more income for League clubs.   The proposal was expected to meet with opposition not just from league chairmen but also their Premiership counterparts but they have given the green light with, unsurprisingly, support very much from the Chairman of clubs in the lower half of the top division.

Speaking after the March meeting, Winkleman – whose MK Dons side lifted their first piece of silverware on Sunday – told the Football League web site "It is imperative that we try and bring as much revenue to the Football League clubs as possible.  There is a huge sum of money floating about in the top division and that puts nearly all our members at a disadvantage should they get there immediately.  By increasing the brand attractiveness of our product we are opening it up to a wider audience which in turn will benefit all the clubs from those at the top of the league pyramid to those fighting to stay in it.

"The concept of effectively a Premiership A and Premiership B is what they have in Italy and it works.   I did expect to see some opposition from the clubs already up at the top but they can see the benefits with most of them having spent some time outside of the Premiership since it's inception."

Confirming the proposal the Football League Chairman Lord Brian Mawhinney stated "We have held initial discussions over the proposal laid in front of us and we have agreed to research the idea some more before  final vote at our meeting on April 23.  I understand from the proposal that television companies in Sweden and Holland have already expressed an interest in Premiership B and we wish to hold further discussions with them before making that final call on whether to sanction the change.  We have also held initial discussions with Barclays who have expressed an interest in first refusal on overall sponsorship once the Coca Cola deal runs out.

"All clubs will be entitled to vote on the proposal put forward and we need to see at least 70% of them in favour before we can sanction the change.  This is a very exciting development for the League and is further proof that it is becoming viewed as an attractive proposition both here in England but also Europe wide."

An announcement on the vote is expected to be made on April 25.

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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