FA Commission: Cambridge United academy director Jez George condemns B team plans
Cambridge academy director Jez George has condemned plans for Premier League B teams to infiltrate the lower divisions.
Last Updated: 09/05/14 1:01pm
FA chairman Greg Dyke has suggested the idea of a new 'League Three' which would mimic the models of several European countries and allow top clubs to field their youths in a second competitive team.
It has been met with fierce criticism from many quarters of the game, mainly the Football League, the Conference and their clubs - many of whom claim they have not been consulted about the proposals.
Cambridge, who take on Gateshead in the Conference play-off final at Wembley on May 18, are renowned for their excellent academy and George believes the fundamental problem in England is a lack of funding.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "I know there are some really big names on that report - people who know a lot more about the development of talent at the highest level than I do - but there are people who work in the Conference who could perhaps have had an input.
"I think we have something pretty unique in England with the pyramid; it's a really unique structure how many levels of professional football we have here compared to other countries. And whichever level you go to you can always find a good player."
In a recent interview with the Guardian, George said: "I think it is wrong that if you drop out of the league you lose your funding.
"The case of each club should be taken on its merits. Cambridge is probably a more professional operation now than it was when it dropped out of League Two, and it's a focal point for 1000 kids from East Anglia.
"We have just sent a promising young player off to Tottenham, who have been tracking him for a while. He has been with us from the age of six and he is now 13 and ready for the next stage.
"Tottenham did things in the right way, they worked with us and recognised the part we played in the lad's development, but they didn't have to.
"If you are not a league club you lose all the rights to contract players. So you can put four or five years into their development and receive nothing in return.
"We are not protected by any rules to prevent bigger clubs cherry-picking our best products, and I think that is wrong."