B for bonkers!
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 09 May 2014
ATHLETIC have joined the chorus slamming the Football Association’s England Commission plan to create a new competition featuring Premier League B teams.
FA chairman Greg Dyke has unveiled a report that includes the idea of a new ‘League Three’ division starting in 2016-17, stationed between League Two and the Football Conference and featuring promotion and relegation.
It could theoretically see B sides from Manchester City and Manchester United taking on Athletic in competitive League One fixtures in as little as four years’ time.
The other three main proposals within the report are the introduction of special loan relationships between clubs, an overhauling of the work permit system and an increase in the required number of home–grown players in squads.
But the B team idea has created huge controversy — and Athletic are dead-set against it.
“I don’t see how we can possibly, in any way, support the idea of ‘B’ teams,” said chief executive Neil Joy. “In no way would it be of benefit to Oldham Athletic and we cannot get behind the proposal in its present form.”
Greg Dyke will talk to the Football League’s annual meeting next month in Vilamoura — and he will undoubtedly be met by fierce opposition. Both the Football League and Conference have issued statements outlining their opposition.
But Dyke says has has the backing of clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.
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