FA Commission Findings: Greg Dyke Reveals B-Team Plan in Key Recommendations

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 4:   In this handout provided by the FA, FA Chairman Greg Dyke addresses the media during the Vauxhall Media Lunch at Millbank Tower on September 4, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Updates from Friday, Oct. 10

Sky Sports has an update on the FA's plan to use B-teams:


Original Text

FA chairman Greg Dyke has detailed plans to install a Premier League B-team structure into the English football system, adding League 3 to accommodate the new idea, in a bid to promote homegrown talent throughout the country.

Dyke's 80-page report called upon 650 figures within the game and can be read in full on the FA's website. While the commission details changes to the loan system and work permit proposals in the national game, the creation of a fifth professional league is sure to grab most headlines.

Sky Sports News provided details of the proposed system's intricacies:

Dyke indicated he wishes to increase the number of English players regularly participating in Europe's top five leagues, per the FA:

Such a dramatic change has understandably produced a number of reactions across the footballing sphere. Oliver Kay of the Times indicates Dyke's initiative has received the backing from key Premier League clubs:

Henry Winter of the Telegraph believes B-teams could negatively impact the Football League's currently quality:

Lower league clubs may find the implementation of a new league irritating, particularly as Premier League B-teams are likely to halt established sides from gaining promotion. Darragh MacAnthony, chairman of Peterborough United, believes the idea prioritises top-flight clubs and the national side too readily:

Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who took part in the commission, urged the need for debate and indicated such changes won't be celebrated by all:

Leading European nations such as Spain and Germany utilise a similar system, where B-team players are provided with the opportunity to face experienced professionals away from the nation's top flight. Barcelona B—a team that used to host Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi alongside many other legends—is perhaps the most famous example of a successful second side.

Dyke's commission called upon numbers from Spain, where a greater percentage of homegrown talents represent top clubs, per Sam Wallace of the Independent:

The report also outlined plans to tighten work permit restrictions, as too many players are currently accepted on appeal, noted by Sporting Intelligence:

Winter believes this tightening up is long overdue:

Dyke also wishes to see the number of homegrown stars increase in the Premier League, while dramatically cutting the use of non-EU players outside the top flight. Kay provides the details:

Dyke highlighted a strategic loan system that will allow teams to establish partners in the same vein as feeder clubs, detailed by Winter:

Dyke has proposed SLPs, Strategic Loan Partnerships, a new system which would effectively lead to feeder clubs by allowing wealthy clubs to place eight players in two clubs in League One or Two. The lower-league clubs would have the bitter pill sugar-coated by financial recompense from the Premier League and FA.

COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06:  England manager Roy Hodgson arrives with FA Chairman Greg Dyke for the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda M
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Whether all of Dyke's plans come to fruition remains to be seen, but at last, English football is subject to a debate that has been needed for years.

The implementation of B-teams and League 3 is likely to excite if you support a Premier League outfit and frustrate if your alliance remains lower than the Championship. Dyke would be foolish to remove the importance of traditional football league sides and will need to convince many his plans can work without belittling a host of senior teams.

A fallout can be expected now the report is public. Dyke's intricate plans have the potential to dramatically change English football, and will certainly allow young talent greater opportunities to shine, but he must ensure the finalised scheme doesn't unravel other areas of the traditional setup.