Premier League Chief Confirms B League Plans
By iSportconnect | February 14, 2014
The Premier League is considering the creation of a ‘B’ league to replace the current Under-21 format according to CEO Richard Scudamore.
The B League is designed to provide more ‘meaningful competition’ for young players, with the aim of giving them a greater chance of breaking into their first teams.
Players would have to be under 23 with four over age players allowed and the league would involve the same teams that are in the current set-up.
Rules state that teams have to be category one for Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and therefore includes Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham, West Brom and West Ham, along with Football League clubs Bolton, Blackburn, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Reading and Wolves.
Scudamore told the Daily Telegraph: “We understand the challenge of developing English talent good enough to play in the Premier League first team is how do you get them to transition from Under-18s into first-team squads? It is such a huge leap. You have to have the transition phase, the ‘professional development phase’ we call it.
The Under-21 League is technically very good but not where it needs to be in terms of meaningful competition for these youngsters.
“The minute you call it ‘Under-21’ people think it is no use. It needs a better name and a better focus. All clubs recognise that. We need proper kick-off times, using main stadiums, anything to create an experience that is more competitive and more like the first team so it doesn’t come as such a shock. And those players in that group should be interchangeable with the first team.
“They should be category one clubs and we are happy for them to be in that league with 16 of ours, and six of the Championship. If more cat one clubs come along you structure it accordingly.
“It should be in all our interests that people have more cat one academies because that’s the best it can be.”
The new league would have no effect on the Football League structure, with relegation and promotion amongst the divisions remaining the same.
Having been chief executive of the Football League, I believe in the pyramid. If you set up a club behind the Dog and Duck, make your way up through those 44,000 others, and climb over enough to get to us – brilliant, we’d love to have you,” continued Scudamore.