Staying in the A-League without relegation is no reward, Joe Mills says

Staying in the A-League without relegation is no reward, Joe Mills says


Perth Glory’s english full-back Joe Mills wants to see promotion and relegation in the A-League in a bid to up competitiveness.

Mills is experienced in the fluctuating lower tiers of english football having plied his trade with both Championship and League One clubs, most recently with relegation-threatened Oldham Athletic.

This season, reigning A-League champions Adelaide United have slumped to ninth on the table, while Newcastle Jets, a top six contender merely a month ago, have gone on to concede 17 goals unanswered in that time, falling to the foot of the ladder.

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While acknowledging the logistical difficulties of such a move, Mills told Tuesday’s Daily Football Show the A-League’s competitive edge would go up a notch with promotion and relegation introduced.

“With the amount of teams in Australia, I think it’d be hard to create a new league and just give teams the opportunity to jump straight in the A-League after a season or two,” Mills said.

“I think it would make the competition a lot more competitive if there was two tiers.

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“I think you would find teams down the bottom maybe, towards the end of the season, play a little bit differently and scrap a little bit more.

“As a footballer, that’s the last thing you want, to be relegated with a team. I think it could be up for debate, but at the moment, that’s how it goes.

“If you’re down the bottom … I wouldn’t say you get rewarded by staying in the league. Your fans and your fanbase don’t like that and as a player, you wouldn’t want to be down the bottom of the league.”

While a national second division below the A-League has been hotly mooted, pushed hard by the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC), promotion and relegation is not likely to be immediately introduced.

Mills’ Glory sit fifth on the A-League table with one match in the home and away season remaining.

Though unlikely, Perth could jump to as high as third with a win over Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Sunday.