Sheffield United will attempt to guage the opinion of their supporters before deciding whether to back plans for a radical overhaul of the Football League.
Proposals, which could see the competition split into four divisions of 20 teams ahead of the 2019/20 season, will be debated at the governing body’s annual conference in Portugal next month.
Although United have provisionally declared the idea worthy of further exploration, Bramall Lane’s delegation at the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura will analyse further details before deciding which way to vote at 2017’s gathering of all 92 members.
The Star understands United could also discuss the idea with representatives of their fan base as the club’s hierarchy attempts to avoid potentially backing a scheme opposed by the majority of its followers.
Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, is adamant their voices should be heard.
“The FSF would like to kick-start a national debate among fans on the future structure of our game and, should these ideas remain on the table, we will hold a full and detailed consultation with supporters at all levels of the game to find out their views on these proposals,” he said.
While both the Premier League and Football Association support the proposal “in principle”, believing it will ease fixture congestion, the National League is “very concerned” according to its chairman Brian Barwick.
“We strongly feel its attempt to re-shape the existing professional game structure has failed to take into consideration the effects of any change on football played below its proposed five divisions,” Barwick, a former FA chief executive, said. “The National League is very concerned about the potential consequences of any potential adoption.”