No To League 3

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No To League 3 Empty No To League 3

Post by A36 on Mon May 12, 2014 1:53 pm

I think this topic is relevant to Bath City, as the introduction of B teams to the pyramid would result in what would effectively be a relegation for City (as Conference South would change from being level 6 to being level 7).

The (rather controversial) report from the FA can be read at FA Commission Report.

Here are my thoughts on the proposal to insert a number of B teams into the football pyramid:

I am convinced that introducing B teams to the football pyramid would be very bad for English football at all levels.  I am also convinced that it would not solve the problem it is intended to solve.  I think that players playing for a B team will find the experience to be just as artificial, and unhelpful in their development, as playing in the U-21 league, and previously the reserve leagues.  Whilst they may be playing matches against real football clubs, for want of a better word, they would still be within the artificial environment of an academy, and they would not be facing the same issues, in terms of the need to achieve results within their league, that their opponents would be.  The focus would still be on the club's first team, and the principal objective of the players would be to get to that first team, rather than to get results for the B team.

The problem to be addressed is that there are far too many young players who are not getting the first team experience they need to develop their game beyond what they can learn in an academy.  The obvious solution to this is to reduce the number of players in that situation, rather than to try to patch up the situation by getting those players to play in a B team.  Therefore, the only practical solution to the problem is to restrict the number of players that any club can have on contract.  If all clubs were restricted to a certain number of players on contract, that would free up those players that are not likely to figure in a club's first team to find clubs further down the pyramid, where they would then be playing for the first team.

Therefore, my suggestion to address this problem would be to restrict all clubs from retaining more than, say, 25 players on contract, and only able to sign new players by releasing existing players (with their contracts paid up), so that they could then be contracted to other clubs.

This would ensure that young players would be far more likely to be playing at an appropriate level, without the artificial environment of being stuck at a club where they are not likely to be playing for the first team.  These players will be far better equipped in the long run by being part of a Football League, or Football Conference, club, than by playing for an artificial B team, or even playing on loan to a lower division club.  If they do then progress on to play for a Premier League club, they will have had the advantage of a grounding in the real world of the Football League or Football Conference, where they may learn aspects of the game that they would not have the opportunity to learn otherwise.

Another advantage of this approach is that when players do move up from the Football League, or Football Conference, to the Premier League, this will more often involve transfer fees, which would, in turn, help to spread some of the wealth out to clubs lower down the pyramid.

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No To League 3 Empty Re: No To League 3

Post by comrade powell on Mon May 12, 2014 3:55 pm

This latest nonsense from the FA smacks of it trying to show a proactive side before the usual inquest into our national team's failings start in around 7 weeks. As John Barnes said at the weekend, this idea will only benefit the biggest clubs, not England, and will provide nothing for the football pyramid. Presumably some jealous observations of what takes place abroad is behind this - but in Spain, for example, Barca's and Real's B teams playing in the 2nd tier benefit those clubs, not the national team. And clearly the FA have already shown impatience with waiting for the miracles to be delivered by their much lauded St George's centre at Burton.
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Post by BenE on Mon May 12, 2014 8:12 pm

You are right it does concern Bath City. Adie Britton mentioned it at last week's meeting. His concern was that U21s are not able to get regular football at an appropriately physical level.

This is possibly the same concern as teams higher up the league have.

My concern is not that B teams will not compete with other teams (because it won't matter so much to them) but that the B teams will actually dominate the leagues. This is because they will be full of better players. Quicker, more skillful players. The likelihood is that the B teams will also be full on non-english players.

However I do not think limiting contracted players to 25 will help in any way. All that will happen is that there will be no english players at all in the premier league. Already players do not progress from the lower leagues. Premier League clubs will merely continue to plunder players developed in the top leagues of other countries.

In my opinion a strong Premier League and a strong England squad are incompatible.

Unless someone is prepared to stand up and enforce quotas then it will continue to decline.

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Post by Ashley on Mon May 12, 2014 9:26 pm

Man City would've got relegated if only goals from English players counted (graphic has been doing the rounds on Twitter). Did any of their fans on the pitch celebrating the title yesterday care? Not one bit I'd wager.
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Post by LB on Mon May 12, 2014 9:46 pm

Those of us with long memories will recall that there used to something called the Football Combination, in which the 'reserve' teams of Football League clubs played. This allowed players who weren't first team regulars to have competitive games against each other, and existed separately from any 'non-league' competition (I accept that this was before the pyramid as it exists now). It seems to me that something of that format would be preferable to the 'B' team/league 3 idea which I fear could be imposed whether anybody wants it or not.

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Post by 2weirdtown on Tue May 13, 2014 12:51 pm

BenE wrote:You are right it does concern Bath City. Adie Britton mentioned it at last week's meeting. His concern was that U21s are not able to get regular football at an appropriately physical level.

This is possibly the same concern as teams higher up the league have.

My concern is not that B teams will not compete with other teams (because it won't matter so much to them) but that the B teams will actually dominate the leagues. This is because they will be full of better players. Quicker, more skillful players. The likelihood is that the B teams will also be full on non-english players.

However I do not think limiting contracted players to 25 will help in any way. All that will happen is that there will be no english players at all in the premier league. Already players do not progress from the lower leagues. Premier League clubs will merely continue to plunder players developed in the top leagues of other countries.

In my opinion a strong Premier League and a strong England squad are incompatible.

Unless someone is prepared to stand up and enforce quotas then it will continue to decline.


I don't buy this 'too many foreign players' are bad for English football. Before the Premiership, England were mostly boring shite to watch and they only made 2 semi finals since 1966 never mind win anything.
The Premiership effectively added a higher level to our existing leagues. The influx of overseas world class players has raised the bar to the standard at which English players must compete internationally. Those fewer English players that are in the Premiership than before are maybe better nowadays due to the more rigorous natural selection process.
I see Ricky Lambert has managed to progress from Bristol Rovers to our World Cup squad.
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Post by striped67 on Tue May 13, 2014 2:18 pm

2weirdtown wrote:The influx of overseas world class players has raised the bar to the standard at which English players must compete internationally.  Those fewer English players that are in the Premiership than before are maybe better nowadays due to the more rigorous natural selection process.

Totally agree. The Premiership is taking players from a worldwide pool, so the standard of those English players that play in it ought to be world class. Some other arguments against it: There is nothing to stop the B teams being packed with players from the EU, so you could have teams with only a few English players; Is League Two/League One football really much of a training ground for future England players? As noted, Ricky Lambert came up through that route, but how many others?
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Post by BenE on Tue May 13, 2014 2:21 pm

Possibly Ricky Lambert's inclusion indicates a paucity of 'world class talent' form our 'improved' league.
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No To League 3 Empty Home Grown

Post by A36 on Tue May 13, 2014 3:36 pm

striped67 wrote:There is nothing to stop the B teams being packed with players from the EU, so you could have teams with only a few English players;
That may be true, but, according to the proposal from the FA, at least 20 (of the 25) have to be "home grown", which isn't quite the same as being qualified to play for England, but would avoid too many players imported from elsewhere in the EU.

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No To League 3 Empty The Proposal

Post by A36 on Tue May 13, 2014 3:51 pm

For the benefit of those who wish to comment without actually ready the commission's report, the following is the B Team Proposal:
FA Commission wrote:

  • All Premier League clubs at the start of the 2015-16 season would be eligible for a B team to be playing in the lower leagues in 2016-17. It would be up to each individual club to decide whether or not it wanted one.
  • B teams would play in stadia, most likely a small stadium built expressly for the purpose or at a nearby lower league club’s stadium shared in return for investment in improved pitch and facilities.
  • Space for these clubs would be made primarily through the creation of a new League 3 within the Football League in 2016-17. This division would initially be made up of 20 clubs of which up to ten would be Premier League B teams and the other ten places would be taken by the top teams from the Conference Premier.
  • By creating spaces within the current footballing pyramid, no clubs would be displaced by this system.
  • There could be a later option of enlarging the new League 3 to 24 teams, depending on the number of Premier League clubs that eventually wanted or became eligible for a B team.
  • Should more than ten Premier League clubs want and be eligible for a B team in 2016-17, further B teams would initially play in the Conference Premier in that season.
  • There would be promotion and relegation between the four leagues – League 1, League 2, League 3 and Conference Premier. B teams would be unable to progress into the Championship and must always be at least one division
    below the senior team.
  • The reorganisation of the league system could allow the introduction of a universal three up, three down approach across all four leagues. It could also allow a reduction in league size, if that were desired.
  • B teams would not be able to play in The FA or League cups but it may make sense for them to be able to play in an enlarged Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
  • B teams playing in the Football League or the Conference would not be voting members of those leagues. They will be associate members only.
  • The eventual structure and distribution of B teams would clearly be a decision for the clubs in the Football League and the Conference.

To ensure that B teams were used primarily for the development of young players, and to ensure fairness in league competition, we propose that:

  • At least 19 of the B team squad of 25 should be players under the age of 21 (at the start of the season) and only three on the match day team sheet of 18 players can be over 21.
  • At least 20 of the 25 players should qualify under the Home Grown player rules.
  • At least five of the 25 players should be club-grown players as per the UEFA definition.
  • Non-EU players playing in England would not be able to play in the B team.
  • In order to encourage first team experience, any B team player can be called into the first team squad at any time.
  • A player under 21 is not permitted to return to the B team once he has played more than ten games in the first team.


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No To League 3 Empty Strategic Loan Partnerships

Post by A36 on Tue May 13, 2014 4:04 pm

Of course, the more cynical may suggest that the B Team proposal is only there to take the focus of objections away from the other, potentially damaging, proposal in the report, that of Strategic Loan Partnerships. In due course, the FA would give way to the weight of objections to the B Team proposal, whilst implementing the proposal for Strategic Loan Partnerships, which could be seen as B Teams by the back door. Ultimately, many clubs would then find that they are unable to compete (and even survive) without losing their autonomy by entering a Strategic Loan Partnership, and becoming a puppet of one of the "big" clubs.

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Post by striped67 on Tue May 13, 2014 4:35 pm

And this is the definition of a "Home Grown player":
Home-grown players do not have to be English; home-grown players are defined as those who "irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday"
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Post by Dave on Tue May 13, 2014 4:45 pm

'Strategic Loan Partnerships, which could be seen as B Teams by the back door.' Like Bishop Sutton...
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Post by miker on Tue May 13, 2014 9:58 pm

Do a Google search for "Say no to B teams" and you can sign a petition.

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