English football needs ‘B team’ league, roars ex-Three Lion

Danny Mills believes that English football needs the much talked about and controversial ‘B team’ set-up to move forwards.

The Three Lions endured their worst World Cup showing ever this summer as Roy Hodgson’s men picked up just one point from their three group games, suffering elimination before their dead-rubber with Costa Rica.

Prior to the competition, FA chairman Greg Dyke outlined his desire to introduce a second side set-up for the biggest teams in the county, as is used most famously in Spain.

The idea is essentially to make a new division between the Conference and League Two occupied with 10 ‘B teams’ and the 10 best sides from the non-league, which would then filter into the normal promotion/relegation set-up.

This is designed to allow young players to play competitive football without moving on various loan deals or switching to foreign football.

Mills, one of seven people chosen by Dyke to help improve English football, believes that such a set-up would be good for the game and the national team:

“If we don’t have ‘B’ teams in this country, all our best youth players will go abroad and we will lose out,” he told the London Evening Standard.

“Some might say that was not a bad thing and that it could enhance them but surely we want to develop these players in our country.

“Why are a club like Manchester City spending £200million on a new academy if they are not convinced they can bring young players through? When they do, they need a pathway. They need somewhere to play.

“In the countries in Europe where clubs have ‘B’ teams, the young players start playing regular competitive football at 17 or 18. That doesn’t happen until later for English players, unless they’re exceptional.

“Things have to change, we realise that and hopefully this [England’s poor performance] is a watershed moment. Most people have accepted the problems that the commission have highlighted.”


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