Mexico’s Liga MX is expected to put a hold on promotion and relegation with the second-tier Ascenso MX for five years, according to reports in Mexico.
The plan is designed in part to enable second-tier clubs to restructure their finances to enable them to compete in the top flight both on and off the field.
It is a move that Liga MX has been mulling for at least two years. At present, promotion to Liga MX is not only dependent on results but also certain financial conditions, mainly infrastructure and a declaration of economic assets that prove players will be paid on time.
It means that a number of Ascenso MX clubs are not eligible for promotion, while many who have made the move up have struggled due to the financial disparity with the leading clubs.
It appears unlikely that Fifa will intervene on the matter, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport recently ruled that the world governing body was not legally required to enforce promotion and relegation in the United States soccer pyramid following a case put forward by Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC.
The Ascenso MX, for its part, is weighing up whether to expand to add eight teams to the league and centralize the sale of its media rights. The move would involve the league increasing to 20 teams from 12 from the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
In December, Liga MX agreed to lower the number of foreigners at first division club rosters following pressure from Mexico national team manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino.
Currently, a maximum of nine non-homegrown players are allowed in each 18-player matchday squad. This figure will reduce to eight in 2021-22 and seven in 2022-23. The maximum number of non-homegrown players in each club roster will also decline from the current 12 to 11 in 2020-21, 10 in 2021-22 and nine in 2022-23.