May 6, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
How is the league of Premier League B-Teams going to play out, if at all?
That’ll be discussed on Wednesday, as England’s Football Association tries to sort out how to join Spain and Germany as nations with proper places for B-sides.
The leading options seem to be:
A) A league between the Conference and League Two
B) Merging the B-teams with the Conference and League Two to form two regional leagues.
It’s hoped that the model would mirror the development success, more or less, of American college soccer, but it isn’t universally lauded, as critics of the idea think it will take the shine off clubs in the lower leagues. From the BBC:
Alan Algar, sponsorship manager for Conference sponsors Skrill, told BBC Radio 5 live he had deep reservations about the idea.
“I think it’s a disgraceful proposal because it makes it very difficult for non-league clubs to feel part of the football pyramid,” he said.
“People all over the world look towards England and are envious of our pyramid and the way things work here. To insert a number of teams that aren’t competitive and won’t have a fan base just makes it very difficult.”
Despite such worries, one source told the BBC that, following more than 300 interviews with clubs and other stakeholders in the game, led by research consultant Peter Beverley, there was a universal acceptance that a major overhaul was needed to give reserve sides and young, English talent more regular, competitive football.
Admittedly it’s difficult to have a lot of interest in following the PL reserve teams and youth leagues, but the introduction of B-teams would seem to take some attraction away from the “minnows vs. monsters” propositions that are the League Cup and FA Cup. If Manchester United’s B-team is hosting Bury or Hartlepool each season, a trip to Old Trafford is less an honor. The system needs an overhaul, but there are certainly positives and negatives of a B-league.
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