FA Commission review suggests Premier League B teams and more home-grown players
Premier League B teams and an increase in home-grown players are among the proposals set out by FA Chairman Grey Dyke.
Last Updated: 08/05/14 6:24pm
The proposals are aimed at tackling four areas of concern including inadequate competitive playing opportunities for young players and an ineffective balance between the number of home-grown and non-home-grown players in England.
Other areas identified for improvement are a shortage of grassroots facilities with particular reference to a shortage of all-weather pitches and gaps in the quality of coaching and coach education.
England manager Roy Hodgson, a member of the FA Commission, has said he is broadly in favour of the report's findings, published by the governing body on Thursday.
"I welcome the proposals and I know that the chairman - and indeed everyone who is passionate about English football - would strongly advocate the findings and recommendations," he said.
"We all have a responsibility when called to answer the question; 'How can we
provide a better platform for the young England players of the future?'"
One such proposals is that of a 'League Three', set up between League Two and the Conference which would allow Premier League and Championship clubs to field 'B' teams, possible from the 2016-17 season.
They would not be eligible for participation in the League Cup or FA Cup but could potentially participate in an enlarged version of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Dyke said the 'B team' proposals, which have reportedly received a mixed reaction, are supported by a number of top Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool, who are aggrieved at the lack of opportunities at elite level for players aged between 18 and 21.
"The bigger clubs have been supportive because they know they've been spending a lot of money on academies and they can't see a route for their players. They've asked us to and we've found one," he told chief reporter Bryan Swanson.
"The analysis we've done shows the decline of the number of English players is quite marked and change is needed because, if it continues, we're going to be in real trouble.
"Once you get down to 20 per cent of English player starting in the Premier League, and an even smaller number among the top six clubs, then you've got a pretty poor England team.
"Change takes a very long time in football. Football is a very conservative industry but this is the time to be radical."
These 'B teams', which are not to be confused with feeder clubs, would be under the full control of their parent clubs and would be eligible for promotion and relegation.
The proposals outline that their 25-man squads would contain a minimum of 20 home-grown players, and a gradual increase in the number of home-grown players playing in the first-team at Premier League and Championship level has also been suggested.
This would involve a phased reduction of the number of non-home-grown players in match-day squads from 17 to 12 starting in 2016-17 and ending by 2021.
Dyke has set a target of increasing the number of English players in the Premier League from 32 per cent to 45 per cent by 2022, and he wants to see 90 English players playing regularly in the top five European leagues by 2022. The current number is 66.
Part of the proposal also includes limiting clubs to two non-EU players in each match-day squad by restricting the issue of visas to players moving only to Premier League clubs. In addition, non-EU players would not be eligible to move to lower division clubs on loan.
Dyke added: "I have no problem with great players coming from all over the world to play in England but there's an awful lot coming here who aren't of that quality.
"Nearly 80% get through an appeal system to come here too. What sort of system is that?"