A report by Luis Castillo of Diario Record and confirmed by other publications suggested that Ascenso MX will cease to exist after Clausura 2020 and replaced by a “development league”. The change in the second division also reportedly comes with suspension of promotion and relegation in Mexican football, especially at the highest levels, for the next five seasons.
Owners and governors of Liga MX, Ascenso MX, and FMF already agreed upon key frameworks for the new Development League, including a hard limit of five overage players and three foreign players, with teams only being able to use three of the overage players and one foreign player in total.
From the perspective of many franchises and clubs, the temporary closing of the rise and drop could allow the teams to start to think more long term within the next five years.
Given that the teams would be playing for prize money, especially that paid by the last place team in the Liga MX “relegation table”, many of the owners of Ascenso MX teams came to support the new Development League project despite the closing of the opportunity to play into Liga MX after Clausura 2020.
Some teams, according to Castillo’s report, are already well-positioned to play in the new league. Mineros de Zacatecas (Grupo Pachuca), Dorados de Sinaloa (Grupo Caliente), and Tampico Madero (Grupo Ortegi) are already effectively satellite operations of ownerships of teams in the maximum circuit. Others, like Oaxaca, Celaya, and Zacatepec, will either play directly for promotion or try to buy their way into the top division, while others, especially the university-owned sides Leones Negros (Universidad de Guadalajara) and Correcaminos (Universidad Autonómica de Tamaulipas), who have been struggling to meet the recent Ascenso MX regulations, could ultimately exit the professional football ranks altogether.
While the official league statement makes references to talks that are ongoing, the details of the new structure, which are proposals now, are expected to be finalized in the summer Owners’ Meetings in May.