Sheepshanks approves new branding

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks has defended the re-branding of the Football League.Town will be playing in 'The Championship' and Colchester United in 'League One' when the 2004/05 season gets under way in August.

By Graham Chase

PA Sport

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks has defended the re-branding of the Football League.

Town will be playing in 'The Championship' and Colchester United in 'League One' when the 2004/05 season gets under way in August.


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The Football League yesterday confirmed new names for its three divisions, after club chairmen approved plans at the League's summer meeting in Chester.

The 2004/05 season will see Divisions One, Two and Three being re-titled 'The Championship', 'League One' and 'League Two' respectively.

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The move ends the Football League's association with Nationwide but Sheepshanks dismisses the suggestion that fans will be alienated by the changes.

“I think the fans will relate to it,” Sheepshanks said. “It's important. Every brand moves on and the new manifestation of the Football League is modern but identifiable. It's going to take time.

“No-one is short-sighted enough to believe that we will close the gap on the Premiership but the long-term aim is to build revenue.

“It's not a sell-out, not at all. You've got to start somewhere. We've got a top sponsor, as well as the Carling Cup and the LDV competition.

“It's a whole new world, we've got to get out there and try and make some money for the clubs.”

Football League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney believes the proposals have received wide support within the game and was pleased with the response the ideas received at the league's summer meeting near Chester.

He said: “I gave the clubs the opportunity to ask questions and they simply applauded.”

While supporters will have to get used to following clubs in yet another division, Mawhinney insists the changes simply take things back to how they were.

“The championship is a historic term dating back to 1888 - the cup went to the winners of the old First Division. We have reclaimed our history here,” he added.

“And if we're having a championship it doesn't make any sense to have Divisions Two and Three.”

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