Last week, the Football Association handed over more power to the Premier League after the government ordered a re-shape of the organisation. This was another significant battle won by the Premier League after the Elite Players Performance Programme (EPPP) was passed by the football leagues, with the Premier League on such a power drive, it’s very likely that we’ll see B teams within the next five years.
The idea, the Premier League claim, will benefit the national team, which has mainly struggled since International football began. In reality, what the Premier League and it’s coaches have done is look at Spain and thought, well they keep winning, so why don’t we copy what they are doing?
The B team idea would only benefit the top teams in the Premier League, the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City and Manchester United; it would as former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said during his time on Merseyside “bridge the gap between the youngsters and the first team”.
These teams aren’t interested in helping England out, none of them have English owners and the majority of their players aren’t English, what the likes of Chelsea want to do is be able to play the likes of Josh McEachran, Ryan Bertrand and Gael Kakuta in the Championship, but be able to play them for the first team should injuries occur.
Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas made that clear enough when he said: “But, here at Chelsea, we do produce talent. Players are coming through. It’s still a massive jump, again [to come]. It’s a waiting process but there is quality in this academy. Will it be too big a gap to come straight into the first team? Maybe, yes. But could they do that if they were playing at Championship level with a team representing Chelsea? Perhaps, yes.”
As a fan of said club, the idea appeals to me because it benefits my club, but for fans of teams like AFC Wimbledon, Derby County and Hartlepool, the idea to have B teams would be disastrous.
Sadly for fans of those teams, the days of English ‘B’ teams isn’t far off, recently the Premier League bullied lower league clubs into signing the EPPP deal, which meant that clubs could sign any youngster no matter where he lived, which 10-year-old wonder kid is going to want to sign for Bury over Manchester City?
Even more recently the FA handed over power to the Premier League, meaning that the FA board could only veto certain rule changes going through, but considering how much the FA have allowed the Premier-League to have in recent times, why wouldn’t they be able to push through this deal for B teams?
The lower league teams aren’t run likes the businesses in the Premier League, they have the community at heart and many are run by volunteers who just love their football club, B teams would mean the death of most of these clubs, but what does the Premier League care?
I would give it a maximum of five years before B teams are rolled out across the football league, and although it may bring the Premier League big boys closer to Barcelona and Real Madrid, it may also mean an end of Doris the tea-lady and surely she is more important to English football?
B Teams good or bad?
Personally i have mixed views on B teams being added because it has worked in Spain. Germany have B teams and Portugal but they don't have a league structure as strong as us and it could end up hurting the smaller teams .
I don't know if it would work in England unless a deal was done with the Football League and the Premier League which involves adding a FL3 witch has some of the bigger prem teams (13) to starts with a mixed of promoted Conference first team (4 teams usually 2)and some FL B teams (7) that wont to field a B team. If that works add two more to Conference and go on from there till all the teams wanting to field a B team has one.
Overall i'm still sitting on the fence.