De Vos calls for level playingfield

JASON De Vos today called for the Championship to become a much fairer place.The Ipswich Town skipper wants to see promotion and relegation decided on merit, not wealth.

By Elvin King

JASON De Vos today called for the Championship to become a much fairer place.

The Ipswich Town skipper wants to see promotion and relegation decided on merit, not wealth.

And the Canadian international is calling for the introduction of a similar system to the one used in North America.

He wants a fairer distribution of the money that TV companies and sponsors are now throwing at the game.

The 33-year central defender scored his third goal of the season in Town's 5-2 rout of Hull City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday. And he is confident that 2007/8 will see the Blues in serious contention for a return to the Premiership.

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But regardless of how many season tickets they sell Ipswich will be the poor relations of those coming down from the top flight.

“We are all confident of a successful 2007/8 for Ipswich Town,” said De Vos.

“But we will not be competing on an even playing field.

“Clubs coming down from the Premiership will have a £30million parachute payment advantage over the rest.

“Yes, there should be a cushion payment to soften the blow of relegation, but next season's figures are ridiculous.

“It would be much fairer and beneficial to football in England if they adopted the North American professional sport policy of revenue sharing.

“In American football for example, clubs from smaller cities with reduced revenues have their money made up with a much wider spread of money distribution.

“It makes promotion and relegation fairer and dependent on merit - not wealth. There is also a salary cap.

“I can't see it happening over here because the decision makers have no interests in the Football League, and will continue to look after their own affairs.”

De Vos still feels that clubs with £5m player budgets can still beat those with £12m budgets who have recently been relegated.

“The better players - Darren Bent with Charlton for example - will naturally look at a transfer if their clubs come down,” added De Vos. “After a taste of the Premiership they will want more.

“And impoverished clubs will raise their games against the more fancied sides.

“Something needs to be done however or it could make the Premiership a virtual closed shop. And our fans deserve more.”

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks is privy to moves taking place to improve the lot of the clubs in the Football League, and although negotiations are too delicate to go public on he is confident changes will be made that will benefit clubs like Ipswich.

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