Why a regionalised League One/Two set-up would not suit Pompey
Tuesday, 28th Apr 2020 22:40 by pompey-fans.com staff
Mark Catlin has warned the idea of League One and League Two being regionalised and put on the same footing has pitfalls.
It's been suggested as one possible outcome of the need for clubs in lower leagues to cut costs following the shutdown caused by Covid-19.
Catlin told the Pompey website it did have its up-sides - including less travelling for teams and supporters - but said a major drawback would be that for the first season of such a system, 48 teams would be playing for three promotion places.
He told the site: 'If the sides were to go into a ‘north’ and ‘south’ pot then personally I wouldn’t be up for it. I agree it might make commercial sense, but I am looking after the vested interests of Portsmouth Football Club.
'Normally a League One club would have a three out of 24 chances of gaining promotion to the Championship. If the following season was to adopt this regional format, then I assume there would be a three in 48 chance.
'So selfishly, for Pompey, I would like to stick to the status quo. That’s my opinion, but on the flip side I can see the benefits of having a ‘north’ and ‘south’ league – not least for travelling supporters.
'They wouldn’t have to travel up to, say, Fleetwood or Blackpool on a Tuesday night, so there is logical commercial sense, along with the fact you would have more local derbies. I can, therefore, see the rationale in that. However, our fans seem to like Saturday trips to the bigger clubs such as Sunderland and they generally occupy more League One spaces than League Two.
'Ultimately, we are one of 72 clubs and bound by the decisions that the EFL make, but I would personally rather stick with the existing structure.'
The talk comes as FIFA and UEFA officials appear to be putting pressure on domestic leagues to scarp any thoughts of playing the rest of this season's fixtures.