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EFL clubs furious at Man City chief executive’s ‘B-team’ suggestion

EFL clubs gave been left furious this week at an Man City chief executive’s ‘B-team’ suggestion which was made in a statement of concerns.

The Premier League club’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, shared his thoughts on the sustainability of English football, and it’s left many fans online questioning why anyone would listen to such ridiculous claims.

He has suggested that now is the time to look at a restructure, including the introduction of B teams within the English Football League, similarly to what other European leagues have.

However as we all know, EFL club chairmen and supporters have been against the implementation of B teams in the EFL Trophy, something which was introduced back in the 2016/17 season.

The #BTeamBoycott hashtag has gone viral many times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, petitions and blogs have been written why it’s not a good idea.

Attendances at games in the tournament often hits below a thousand – which surely will be damaging for the club’s finances compared to how effective the previous format was like (when the Johnstones Paint Trophy was about).

However the decision to have the under 21/academy teams of Premier League sides has been kept and it looks to remain for years to come.

The reasoning for Soriano’s latest raising of the B team issue, when he discussed the ‘unsustainability’ of the current EFL structure and lack of development options for youngsters in top academies. The league system is facing unprecedented financial strain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Soriano believes that is justification to restart the debate over reforming the football pyramid in England.

“We need to solve the economic situation of the EFL so that clubs in the EFL are sustainable,” said Soriano, speaking at Leaders in Sport’s online forum, LeadersWeek.direct.

“There might be opportunities to add more clubs into the pyramid, look at places like the US where more and more franchises are being created. I don’t know the answer but maybe we should ask if we have enough clubs or do we have more, or can we give more resources and opportunities to clubs that already exist and have tradition to develop.

“It is a good time now to get all of these questions on the table.

“There are other problems, for example the challenge of developing young players in England where B teams are not allowed and we have a development gap of boys that are 17 or 18 who don’t find the right place to develop. Then, for example, they are taken by the German teams who try to sell them back to us at 10 times what they pay.

“This is bad and something that we needed to solve and maybe now the crisis will give us an opportunity to nudge us and get together to solve these issues.”

Tranmere Rovers vice-chairman Nicola Palios tweeted: “I would rather not accept any financial assistance from the @premierleague than agree to B Teams in the pyramid. The pyramid in the UK is something we must fight to protect #saynotoBteams.”

While, Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony offered a much more concise opinion, confidently predicting that B teams would never be introduced to the EFL.

He posted: “It wont [happen]. He is talking f—— nonsense.”

Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt posted a number of tweets on the subject, including: “No B teams under any circumstances in our pyramid. No negotiations. NO B TEAMS.”

In other tweets, Holt said Soriano’s suggestion would ‘destroy clubs’, adding: “They have no duty of care over anyone other than themselves.

“Yet in 2020 we are here with Ferrari [Soriano] saying we need B teams (as did Pep) and others putting increasing conditionality on any bailout. They will not do the right thing without extracting maximum benefit for themselves. They aren’t bailing us out. We’re selling them changes to the @EFL and pyramid under duress because our backs are against the wall. This is an abuse of power. They have NO DUTY OF CARE but they have all the power. And that is poor, very poor.”

Holt also blamed inequalities in the football pyramid at the feet of the wealthier clubs like City, saying: “The pyramid is not sustainable because of his club and other clubs like his. Now he suggests digging deeper down a hole as the solution.”

Jamie O’Hara also criticised the idea of potentially having Manchester City B Team in League Two, watch the clip, which is quickly going viral, below…

Fans reacted as EFL clubs are furious at the Man City chief executive’s ‘B-team’ suggestion…

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