FA calls for Premier B league

Greg Dyke: Plea to clubs. Picture: PA
Greg Dyke: Plea to clubs. Picture: PA
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A FOOTBALL Association commission set up to investigate ways of improving the England side wants to allow Premier League clubs to enter B teams in lower divisions from 2016-17.

The FA also recommended a reduction in the number of non-home grown players allowed in a top-flight squad from 17 to 12 by 2020-21.

The commission was set up by FA chairman Greg Dyke and features figures from across the game, including Manchester United and ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand, former England manager Glenn Hoddle and current England manager Roy Hodgson.

It was tasked with finding ways of increasing the number of England-qualified players in the top clubs.

In its report, released yesterday, the commission suggests the creation of a new “League Three” which would be initially made up of ten Premier League B teams and ten sides from the cream of minor league football.

Clubs could be promoted and relegated between League One, Two and Three and the minor league Conference, but B teams could not play in the second-
tier Championship and must always be at least one division below their A sides.

The FA commission’s report says the next step in the process “should entail detailed consideration, consultation and debate between all interested parties in football”.

“I welcome the proposals and I know the chairman, and indeed everyone who is passionate about English football, would strongly advocate the findings and recommendations,” said Hodgson.

Dyke implored the leading clubs to look at the proposals with open minds.

“We recognised that making changes in football is often a slow and difficult process but we urge those in the football world to consider our proposals constructively and with open minds,” Dyke told a news conference at Wembley.

“We urge them to balance the specific, narrowly defined concerns of their particular club or league with what will be of the most benefit to the game overall, the development of young English players and the success of the England team.”