They may be a top 6-7 club performance-wise. However, it's only because of pro/rel that they have had the chance to get into the Premiership based on their performances on the field of play. That's the beauty of the system:- clubs rise and fall according to their own merits and means, rather than someone's - presumably educated - guess as to whether a particular 'market' can support a team as happens under the cartel system. With a population of only 100k, Blackburn would have a cat's chance in hell of being anything but a minor league team under the cartel system, especially with Liverpool and Manchester presumably also having two teams each. And US sport is much the poorer for not having that local identification, imo. Why don't you go to Blackburn and ask folks whether they would prefer that Blackburn not have a team and that they support Manchester United instead? After all, that would give those Blackburn fans more chance of following a team that won the Premiership so presumably they'd be in favour of it. Blackburn have won the Premiership one more time than they would have under the cartel system. And qualified for Europe on several occasions.