Wednesday 18 September 2019

FA dismisses reports of 18-team Premier League

The Premier League has been contested by 20 teams since the 1995-96 campaign
The Premier League has been contested by 20 teams since the 1995-96 campaign

The Football Association insists it has no plans to ask the Premier League to reduce the number of teams in its division to 18 despite reports that the 20-club top flight was in line for a shake-up.

England's less-than-impressive record in major international tournaments since the Premier League's inception back in 1992 has often led to calls for reform in order to help the national side flourish on the big stage.

The most notable suggestion has been the introduction of a winter break, in line with other top European leagues, but on Saturday the Times claimed that FA chairman Greg Dyke was set to speak to Richard Scudamore, the executive chairman of the Premier League, about cutting two teams from its division.

World Cup holders Germany have a similar model, with the Bundesliga currently contested by 18 teams, but an FA spokesman said the governing body was not about to ask the Premier League to follow suit.

"The FA has no plans to call for a reduction in the number of teams in the Premier League," said the spokesman.

England's elimination in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - for the first time since 1958 - only heightened calls for a reduced football calendar to keep star players fresh.

With Euro 2016 now just around the corner, the FA says it is constantly looking for ways to improve the national team's chances.

The spokesman added: "Of course, we continue to have discussions with the Premier League about positive ways in which we can work together to help the England team and develop the game in this country."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport