After the general meeting between team owners, Liga MX announced that the system of promotion and relegation was suspended for five seasons in Mexico. These are the terms of a “process of stabilization” in which the federation is trying to “save” the Ascenso league (Mexico’s second division) from the financial crisis they have been in recent years. The Ascenso cut the league from having 18 teams to only having 12 competing in 2020. President Enrique Bonilla announced this as well as that the Ascenso Clausura 2020 season has ended because of the COVID-19, and there will be no champion crowned. Also announced was that the elimination of the youth rule that sawLiga MX clubs having to give a certain numbers of minutes to their young players or they would lose points. Now instead there will be a new developmental league, which probably will be the replacement of the Ascenso as the equivalent of minor league teams, something that had happened before in Liga MX and whose success was non-existent.
According to reports the teams that voted in favor of the changes were:
Atletico San Luis
Santos and Atlas (owned by Grupo Orlegi)
Tijuana and Queretaro (owned by Grupo Caliente)
The votes against were :
Pachuca and Leon (Grupo Pachuca)
It’s very interesting that the majority of the votes in favor of the end of relegation were small markets teams that would be in trouble with relegation like FC Juarez, Puebla and Atletico San Luis. Also it’s not surprising that Atlas, the club which was at the center of the first time relegation was suspended is in that same camp, first with TV Azteca when they were owned by them and now under Grupo Orlegi.
With the decisions, it all but guarantees that the developmental league will take over for the Ascenso. Bonilla’s letter didn’t say if there were going to be an age limit on the new league but all signs point that it might, which would mean that a lot of Ascenso players will lose their jobs and that young players will only play against players of their same age group, something that could hamper their development. It thus seems like a huge step backward and that the league will actually stop development instead of encourage it.
According to Bonilla’s letter there will be funds to help the Ascenso teams and there are talks that there might be “fines” for clubs that fail to the Liguilla, and the money those teams pay will go to the the funds for the development team. Yet many of the fund ideas look a little like the funds given when an Ascenso team would have gotten if the had “won” promotion but didn’t have the certification to go up, something that happened to the Cafetaleros de Tapachula in 2018.