Major League Soccer will not fall in line with other leagues in the world and introduce promotion and relegation for it's clubs, according to the league's deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.
But Abbott’s comments have prompted a swift response from the second tier North American Soccer League – who say they disagree.
Speaking to reporters before Wednesday' MLS All Star game against Bayern Munich, Abbott said the league would continue to expand but would not do so through the method used by most leagues.
"I would say it never happens," Abbott said when asked whether the system would be introduced in the future.
While many observers would agree with Abbott, given the unique business model of MLS, the second division NASL responded with a statement saying they are open to the change.
“The NASL is focused on continuing to expand the global game in North America and remains open to any and all efforts to align our professional soccer league with the rest of the world.
“We remain open to the concept of promotion and relegation and many other concepts our great fans and partners associate with top level soccer around the world,” said the statement.
MLS's expansion to 19 teams has been achieved by selling rights to enter the league and the owners of New York City FC, who will join the league next season, were reported to have paid over $100 million for the franchise. Having paid such fees it is unlikely that MLS club owners, who make the key decisions on the league's policies, would vote to allow their clubs to be relegated to the second tier.
MLS's expansion will continue with Orlando City also joining the league next season, Atlanta penciled in for 2017 and David Beckham's possible Miami franchise also in line for a place.
While the NASL say they are open to change, there is currently no promotion or relegation between their league and the third-tier USL Pro league.