The first big news in relation to the new Liga de Desarrollo (as it was presented) or Liga de Expansion (as Enrique Bonilla referred to it a couple weeks back), has been revealed. And it wasn’t revealed by the league itself, but by Fox Sports’ Ruben Rodriguez.
Of course, nothing is for sure as of yet, but this is the first news on it since the announcement of the league transformation, which leaves some questions after analyzing the 20-team list which has been revealed will make up the league. Some weeks back, there had been reports of a 30-team league shaping up, so which of these versions you decide to believe is ultimately up to you.
What is a fact is the following; all 12 current teams from the now extinct Ascenso MX will be part of the league, with a little asterisk beside Atlante, because of the fact that they might be the chosen team to be promoted to Liga MX come this summer. But that little beauty is still in the works. As Bonilla stated, that situation will be revised in the May owners’ assembly.
According to Ruben Rodriguez, the other 8 teams that will supposedly make up the rest of the league are Tepatitlan and Tlaxcala (2 teams being promoted from Liga Premier), and 6 under-23 teams, which apparently will belong to Liga MX clubs(America, Rayados, Tigres, Chivas, Cruz Azul, and Pumas are mentioned to be those 6 clubs). Not to mention, 3 of the original 12 teams have already become an under-23 team belonging to Liga MX teams, thanks to multiproperty clubs. Those teams are Mineros (Grupo Pachuca), Dorados (Grupo Caliente), Tampico (Grupo Orlegi).
And so, the wild roller-coaster ride of Ascenso MX – Liga de Desarrollo – Liga de Expansion continues. Nearly half of the league will become under-23 teams for the 1st division squads, which will only play into their favor by allowing them to have another developmental level in their organization, leaving the other half of the league having to compete against teams who ultimately will have completely different objectives.
The part I don’t understand from this move is once the SUPPOSED 6 years of no promotion and relegation are up, and this system SUPPOSEDLY returns to Mexican football, how do you resume the Ascenso MX? With at least half of the teams being owned by Liga MX clubs, how do you all of a sudden resume the fight for promotion and the glory to reach the Liga MX when half of the clubs are being used as stepping stones to develop and produce their future Liga MX stars?
What this screams out so clearly is that this is their next step toward making this a permanent situation. The “6 years” in reality mean forever. There is no plan for returning the Ascenso MX, and Mexico has officially begun its new developmental league which will remain that for the time being, with half of the league already playing minor leagues to the biggest clubs in Liga MX. And so, the permanent disappearance of Ascenso MX continues right before our eyes.