Football League boss offers alternative to B team plan

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy could be a route in for B teams. Photo: PA

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey is to offer Premier League clubs an alternative to the controversial B team idea put forward by Greg Dyke.

Football Association chairman Dyke whipped up a storm earlier this month when his commission - designed to improve the fortunes of the national side - recommended a new League 3 comprised of B teams and Conference clubs.

Dyke is to present his ideas to the League's summer meeting next week and Harvey is weighing up a counter plan.

He is suggesting that B teams could join the Johnstone's Paint Trophy - a regionalised knock-out competition currently open only to League 1 and 2 clubs.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Harvey said: "At their summer meeting, clubs will discuss the Football League's contribution to the England team and how we can enhance our already extensive contribution to the development of young players.

"While the session was planned well before the findings of the FA chairman's England Commission were made public, it does now give clubs the opportunity to have their say on these matters.

"It remains our view that while the objectives of the commission are laudable, the burden it places on our clubs should not be disproportionate or unreasonable.

"With this in mind, clubs will consider the merits or otherwise of inviting a number of B teams to participate in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy as a means for improving elite player development while also improving the finances of League One and League Two clubs."

The newspaper adds that the competition would be increased by 16 B teams from clubs with Category One academies over the next two seasons, with 16 groups of four and one B team in each.

When Dyke made his proposals on May 8 it was said that the new League 3 would start from the 2016/17 season and be made up of 10 B teams and 10 from the Conference.

Of the B team squad, 19 of the 25 would be under the age of 21 and 20 of the 25 should qualify for the home-grown rule and no none-EU players be allowed.

There was a mixed response to the plans and a protest group has been formed against them.