'Sporting disgrace' - Chesterfield manager Paul Cook calls for more promotion places in National League

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook says to only have one team go up automatically from the National League is a ‘sporting disgrace’ and ‘insane.’
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Talks between the National League and the Football League about giving the fifth tier an extra promotion spot have apparently taken place, but when and how it would work remains unclear.

The change would require EFL clubs to vote on it, which some have described as ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ because it would mean an extra team gets relegated from League Two.

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Speaking after Chesterfield’s defeat to Notts County in the National League play-off final, Cook told the media: “I would like to congratulate Notts County on what has been an excellent year. To get the amount of points they’ve had, and not go up (automatically), is a real blow.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook. Image: Tina Jenner.Chesterfield manager Paul Cook. Image: Tina Jenner.
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook. Image: Tina Jenner.

“To only have one team (automatically) promoted is an absolute sporting disgrace. When I was in the Football League, I never thought about it, because you don't, you are always looking after yourself.

“This is a very competitive, good league with a lot of good managers, coaches and teams in. And how it’s only been allowed to have one team going up is just insane.

“Notts County should have gone up automatically without a doubt. I certainly wish Luke (Williams) and his team the best wishes in the Football League.”

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Pressed more on the topic, Cook said the ‘bigger footballing world’ was ‘looking after themselves.’

He continued: “To have dropped into this league to help Chesterfield, to see it first hand, it is wrong, it is not right, it is not correct. Sporting people should definitely look at it.

“This has nothing to do with Chesterfield Football Club, This is just fairness in sport. It is not sour grapes from me because we wouldn't have gone up.

“The National League is an excellent league, it is ran very well, it is trying to grow, I think we should look at it now, how do we go forward with two teams automatically and one in the play-offs. It is just logical.”