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EFL AGREES PLAN TO RETURN TO FULL 72-CLUB MEMBERSHIP

27 September 2019

The EFL and its member clubs have determined a preferred direction of travel for how best to return the league to its full membership of 72 clubs, from the 2020/21 season.

The discussions followed the withdrawal, last month, of Bury FC’s membership, which had the effect of reducing Sky Bet League One from 24 to 23 clubs for the current campaign.

As previously confirmed, the number of relegation places in Sky Bet League One will reduce to three for this season.

At a quarterly meeting of EFL clubs yesterday, discussions established an agreement in principle whereby only one club, rather than the usual two, should be relegated from Sky Bet League Two to the National League, at the end of the current season.

The board will now formulate proposals which will be brought forward for adoption by clubs - at a general meeting - in due course.

This would mean both Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two have a full complement of 24 clubs for the 2020/21 season.

During yesterday’s meeting, the EFL and its member clubs considered and debated a number of options, with all clubs given the opportunity to air their views.

The debate included consideration of the proposal submitted by the Bury FC Rescue Board for the club to be admitted to Sky Bet League Two under new ownership, in season 2020/21.

Following in-depth discussions, it became clear the proposal did not have the necessary support and EFL clubs favoured extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 clubs, now and for the future.

Debbie Jevans CBE, EFL executive chair, said: "While we are saddened Bury FC is no longer part of the EFL, the board’s difficult decision to withdraw membership was only taken after every opportunity to find a resolution was exhausted.

"Since then, in recognition of the efforts made on behalf of the club, the EFL has engaged with supporters’ groups, shared their submissions with our members and debated at length the issues raised.

"Following the discussion yesterday, clubs have established the preferred direction of travel is to reduce relegation from Sky Bet League Two as a means of returning to 72 clubs.

"The clubs felt, in a difficult situation, this approach maintains fairness for all members and upholds the principle of the football pyramid."

In a separate discussion at yesterday’s meeting, EFL clubs gave their endorsement to the proposed appointment of Rick Parry as EFL Chairman.

The appointment will now go forward for formal ratification at a general meeting.


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