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Charlton chairman wants new Premier League division 2

Charlton plc chairman Richard Murray has called for the introduction of a Premier League, Division 2 to combat the widening gulf between the top flight and the Football League, reports the Kent Messenger.

Presenting the annual report and accounts to shareholders for the year ended June 30, 2007, Mr Murray reported a fall in turnover of £35.9 million caused by the reduction in the Premier League merit award plus lower matchday revenues and a reduction in cup revenues.

Overall, receipts from the Premier League broadcast contracts and other central commercial activities plus sponsorships, fell by nearly 14 per cent.

Season ticket sales were lower for 2006-07 with 17,188 holders at the end of the campaign _ a fall of eight per cent over the previous season.

"In my view, the time has come for the introduction of a two-tier top structure in this country," said Mr Murray.

"A structure whereby television revenues are more evenly distributed and where relegation from the Premier League does not ultimately end up putting the very future of a club at risk.

"I believe there is a real dilemma for promoted clubs in determining the level of investment to be made in attempting to retain Premier League status."

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