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“I Just Don’t See It” EFL Chief Hits Back At Proposals For Premier League ‘B Teams’

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EFL chief executive Rick Parry has ended any hopes that Premier League clubs could field ‘B teams’ filled with academy players in the Football League.

The gap between youth level and senior football has been a complaint levelled at the English game for many years. In other countries, such as in Spain and Germany, ‘B’ teams are allowed to play in the lower divisions of professional leagues. However, Parry says he is dead against a similar structure in England:

“I just don’t see it, and irrespective of my view, it is absolutely not something that our clubs have any enthusiasm for. It’s been tried – (former FA chair) Greg Dyke tried it. (Another former FA chair) Greg Clarke introduced it at the very start of (Project) Big Picture and I said, ‘that’s non-negotiable, it’s not happening’. Frankly, I don’t even see it being on the table. I’ve spoken quite a lot about fresh ideas, new thinking, not having preconceived ideas, but I’ve got a preconceived idea about B teams and that’s not within the boundaries.”

“The strength of the EFL is that every one of our clubs sits at the heart of the community. Our clubs put almost as much emphasis on the community as they do on the first team and what happens on the pitch. This isn’t about B teams suddenly parachuting in because you cannot possibly replicate that, it’s just misunderstanding what the pyramid is.”

To be fair, the quality of English players coming through the academies, especially at City, have meant that many, such as Phil Foden, have not found the step up to senior football that difficult.

It does mean that a whole host of youngsters do spend their early years out on loan at lower league teams but, even if the likes of the FA have been pushing for changes, it doesn’t look like the EFL will change their mind anytime soon.

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