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The Premiership was founded when 22 clubs left from The Football League and formed a new association football club. All clubs left for more television money and threatened for some years before the split that they will create a super league. It seems to me like a bad divorce between the 22 involved clubs and the FA, so my question is:

Why did the FA agree to rename its divisions and that the highest ranked league will become the second tier of English football?

I'm looking, if there is one, for a different answer than the one that involves the number of supporters the 22 involved clubs had.

  • The FA didn't rename any divisions on account of the Premier League. The tier below the Premier League was known as Football League Division One before and after the split. And to make things worse, today it is known as The Championship. – Peter Eisentraut May 7 '12 at 19:44
  • Didn't know that they renamed it later to The Championship. – Marius Balaban May 7 '12 at 20:47
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There are some corrections to your question.

It seems to me like a bad divorce between the 22 involved clubs and the FA.

Nope, it was a divorce between the 22 clubs and the Football League. The Football League is different from the FA. In fact the foundation of the Premier League states

The five (big) clubs decided it was a good idea and decided to press ahead with it, however the league would have no credibility without the backing of The Football Association and so David Dein of Arsenal F.C. held talks to see whether the FA were receptive to the idea. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.

So now to the question:

Why did the FA agree to rename its divisions and that the highest ranked league will become the second tier of English football?

As earlier, the FA pushed this idea. The web archive article says

But rumblings of discontent had started in 1991 with the FA's unveiling of their 'Blueprint for Football' which put forward the idea of a Super League of 18 clubs. The Football League strongly resisted the proposals, but on June 14, 1991 16 First Division clubs signed a document of intent to join the newly named Premier League. Eventually all 22 First Division clubs tendered their resignation from the League and, after months of financial wranglings and threats of a players' strike, the PL became official on September 23. The FA agreed to continue with three up and three down promotion and relegation, vowed to reduce the Premier League to 20 and struck a record five-year £304 million television deal with Sky and BBC.

So in this case it seems that the FA actually agreed with the Football League to allow promotions for 3 teams from the Championship rather than keep it a closed shop, in order that those teams get part of the earnings. Note in the Premier League, your final standings at the end of the year specify the % of the Sky TV kitty you take home.

So even though positions 18 - 20 are relegated, they will get a proportional share of the TV earnings. There is an incentive to be 18th, rather than 20th.

In each year, there is a chance for 3 teams from the Championship to get into the Premier League TV revenue. and 3 teams fall out of the Premier League too.

  • I'm puzzled. This is a very good answer, which basically corrected the wrong assumptions in the question. However if the question is "why did they agree to have relegations", it doesn't really give an answer, it just states they did (as the question itself already stated). (that being said, the answer is obvious: "a league without promotions and relegations just isn't credible, people would likely not take it seriously, so they did just that") – o0'. Mar 12 '14 at 16:14

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