EXCLUSIVE: EFL ready to offer National League THIRD promotion place

EXCLUSIVE: The EFL is ready to offer the National League a THIRD promotion place as part of football’s financial reforms – and the change could kick in as soon as NEXT season

  • EFL chief Rick Parry is set to offer the National League three promotion places
  • Parry is keen to do so as part of the EFL’s contribution to his financial reset plans
  • Offering an extra promotion place is seen as the best way of helping the pyramid
  • The change could come as soon as next year with talks set to intensify in January

The EFL are ready to offer three promotion places to the National League as part of their contribution to the financial reset being demanded by chairman Rick Parry.

Whilst negotiations with the Premier League remain deadlocked over receiving increased and more merit-based funding from the top-flight – the so-called New Deal for Football – there is an acknowledgement at the EFL that they also have a responsibility to assist clubs further down the pyramid. 

Offering an additional promotion place to the National League is seen by many as the best way of achieving this, particularly amongst clubs in the Championship, not least as it would not affect them. 

EFL chairman Rick Parry (R) is ready to offer three promotion places to the National League

National League clubs, such as Notts County, could benefit from the change next season

The National League has gradually been moving towards becoming the EFL’s fourth division for some time, with an automatic promotion place granted to its champions in 1997 and a second promotion spot given in 2003, which is determined by a four-team play-off. 

Negotiations between all of the leagues are likely to intensify next month when the government publishes a White Paper on creating an independent regulator for football, which has been the catalyst for structural and financial reform throughout the game. 

Any change to the EFL’s promotion and relegation system would need approval from a simple of majority vote of the clubs, and will not be implemented until next season at the earliest.

Wrexham chiefs Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney will also be happy with the proposal

Nice surprise for Spurs as Britain’s richest man visits 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford were guests of Tottenham on Wednesday, with the club seemingly delighted at attracting Britain’s richest man to their friendly against Nice. 

Petrochemicals billionaire Ratcliffe, 70, failed in an attempt to buy Chelsea earlier this year after missing the deadline to bid and has repeatedly been linked with buying Manchester United. 

Tottenham are also on the market, though there is no suggestion Ratcliffe is preparing a bid. The club have had commercial links with Ratcliffe’s company INEOS since 2020 and on Wednesday announced a deal to make the INEOS Grenadier their official 4×4 Vehicle Partner.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe paid Tottenham a visit this week after his Nice side played them in a friendly

Champions League turn-off

The expansion of the Champions League to 36 clubs playing 189 matches from 2024 does not appear to have found favour amongst the broadcasters, with the value of TV rights declining in several key markets. 

DAZN and Amazon have retained the rights for live matches in Germany by bidding less than they are paying for their current three-year deal, while BT Sport and Amazon’s deal for the UK rights announced last summer brought only a slight increase on the existing contract despite sharing 189 games between them, a significant increase from the 125 currently on offer.

Top flight nets drug expert

The Premier League have recruited an anti-doping expert who helped manage the fall-out from Conor Benn’s positive drugs test and the numerous doping scandals involving British cycling. 

Charlie Bosomworth is joining the top-flight’s communications team from UK anti-doping, where he spent five years as Head of Communications having previously worked in the Lawn Tennis Association’s media team.

The Premier League have recruited an anti-doping expert who helped manage the fall-out from Conor Benn’s positive drugs test

UEFA are refusing to support FIFA’s reform of agent regulations, which will cap fees at 10 per cent, until the furore over the international calendar and the new Club World Cup is resolved. 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced that the new competition will launch in 2025 on the eve of the World Cup final in Doha last week without gaining the support of the leading clubs. 

UEFA have become increasingly aligned with the European Clubs Association in recent years and will not back the proposed agent changes until their wrangling with FIFA is resolved.

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