Foreign PL owners targeting relegation

A number of foreign owners in the English Premier League (EPL) are looking to dramatically overhaul the country’s soccer system by scrapping relegation, a senior English soccer official warned Monday.

The safeguarding of clubs’ statuses in the EPL was seen as a possible way of protecting owners’ investments.

The English top flight has seen a number of its clubs fall into the hands of overseas investors in recent years, with half of the sides competing in the league now under foreign control.

With other clubs increasingly looking to overseas funds to compete with foreign-owned giants like Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, that trend is likely to continue.

But League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan warned that more takeovers from outside the UK could lead to a vote being pushed through to abolish relegation to the second-tier Championship.

At present, proposed changes to EPL rules require approval from 14 of the 20 clubs.

Discussing the importance of acting on a recent inquiry into soccer governance by British lawmakers, Bevan said, "There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen."