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Parliamentary Group Backs Blatter Plan


Following a year-long investigation into the state of English football, the All Party Parliamentary Group is expected to back Sepp Blatter's plan for a 'six plus five' rule. This would require each team in the Premiership to field a minimum of six players eligible to play for England. The Premier League has dismissed the plan as unworkable and argued that it is incompatible between European law that protects freedom of movement for workers between member states. Blatter has also been rebuffed by EU officials in Brussels, but the committee has consulted its own legal experts who think that the scheme is permissible under EU law. In any case, the committee argues that the UK Government should apply for a derogation allowing the plan to go ahead. The committee has no decision-making authority, but it does have influence and it may increase the momentum behind the 'six plus five' plan which would radically alter the Premiership by reducing the availability of foreign players.

Two-tier Premiership Plan Revived

The plan for a two-tier Premiership has been revived. Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is to put a proposal before his fellow chairmen this week. Celtic and Rangers would be included and there would be 18 teams in each division. Under the plan teams relegated to the second tier would lose less money than at present, even allowing for £11.5m parachute payments. The Scottish dimension of the plan is unlikely to get anywhere as Uefa has consistently said that teams will not be allowed to play in leagues outside their own country. It would also make it more difficult for Glasgow and Rangers to qualify for the Champions League. The plan would also require the backing of 14 of the 20 Premiership clubs to get adopted which is as likely as turkeys voting for an early Christmas. The top four would see their revenues cut, but mid-table clubs would also experience a drop in television money if it was spread more widely.