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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 07:12 GMT
Kenyon issues dire warning
Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Kenyon
Kenyon (right) fears for the professional game's future
Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon believes English football can only sustain 40 professional clubs.

Kenyon has called for a review of the way the sport is structured in England, claiming that less than half the 92 professional clubs will survive the current financial crisis.

"There has to be a review of the structure," Kenyon told BBC Radio Five Live.


I can't see much beyond the first two divisions being professional
Man Utd chief executive Peter Kenyon

"Quite clearly, I don't think we can have four divisions of professional football any longer.

"There are too many clubs. That's not to say they can't all exist, but they can't all be professional and that has to be reviewed.

"I can't see much beyond the first two divisions being professional and the third being semi-professional, so probably around 40 clubs."

'Almost a fad'

Manchester United currently has a stock market value of about 260m - well below its peak of more than 1bn.

"I am not sure why most football clubs went public in the first place. It was almost a fad."

"I think that the majority of the City think that football clubs shouldn't be quoted.

"They have not changed their management structure. They have not demonstrated that they can manage costs.

"They have not demonstrated that they can be anything other than a football club.

"There is huge uncertainty and all those things are not what the City like to invest in. They don't like shocks.

"They don't like great peaks and troughs, and football as an industry gives you that."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Man Utd chief Peter Kenyon
"Not all clubs can be professional"
Former Man Utd director Greg Dyke
"In future footballers will have to have other jobs"
Leeds deputy chairman Allan Leighton
"I'd like to see performance-related pay"

Full analysis
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