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Fergie condemns relegation axe talk

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned that plans to scrap relegation from the Premier League would be "absolute suicide", insisting it would be wrong to permanently exclude clubs with a rich football history from the top flight.

• Foreign owners want to scrap demotion
• Dall: Selling football's soul

League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan warned on Monday that some foreign owners of Premier League clubs want to abolish promotion to, and relegation from, the top division of English football.

With the number of foreign owners increasing in recent years, Bevan is concerned that "four or five" more foreign owners could see the concept become reality.

With American family the Glazers at the Old Trafford helm, United are one 10 Premier League clubs with foreign owners, but Ferguson is adamant a move to abolish relegation would be bad news for English football.

''I don't see where the end product comes in,'' Ferguson said. ''There are at least eight teams in the Championship at the moment with great history. What do you say to those eight teams, they can never play in the Premier League? You may as well lock the doors.

"It would be absolute suicide for the rest of the teams in the country, particularly the Championship.''

If the axe were to fall this season, two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest would be out, along with the likes of Leeds, Birmingham, Coventry and both Sheffield clubs.

''All these great teams are the nucleus of the Premier League many years ago,'' he said. ''The only place you can make money and realise your ambition is the Premier League. You can't take that away from clubs.''

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand echoed his manager's sentiments, stating on Twitter: "What's all this madness I'm hearing about there being no promotion or relegation from the PL...wash your mouth out whoever suggested that."

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