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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 13:52 UK

Rhodes dismisses regional split

Julian Rhodes
Rhodes has been chairman since 2004

Bradford City joint-chairman Julian Rhodes says splitting the lower leagues into regions would not work.

Due to the credit crunch there have been calls in some quarters to split League Two into north and south leagues in order to cut travelling costs.

"I don't really understand how it would work. I don't see the arguments for it," Rhodes told the club's website.

"I think it devalues the league as a whole and I just think it would be a backward step."

Bradford failed to make the play-offs last season and now face a third consecutive campaign in the League Two.

The club have been forced to release six players and manager Stuart McCall, who has taken a pay cut himself, has to slash the wage budget by 40%.

Rhodes, who is joint-chairman with Mark Lawn, added: "If you regionalise the division, you'd get the Super League type scenario where you are playing the same teams all the time, I honestly think it would devalue it.

I don't see an awful lot wrong with the structure of football in this country

Julian Rhodes

"You might get better attendances in the first instance because you don't have to travel as far, but I think the interest levels are higher when you've got clubs coming up from all over the country.

"As a consequence of that you'll probably get less people interested. In the long run, less people would come and your income levels would go down.

"It would probably make it less attractive for the TV companies as well, so that money would go down.

"Travel costs, certainly in our case, are marginal when compared with a substantial decrease in your attendances, which I believe would eventually happen."

"Ever since (the collapse of) ITV Digital, when there was a whole load of insolvencies, there's been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

"People make all sorts of suggestions to change things but there have not been that many insolvencies in the last few years, compared to how many there were between 2002 and 2005/6.

"I don't see an awful lot wrong with the structure of football in this country."



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