FA proposes English Premier League

FA proposes English Premier League
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (R) scores past Norwich City's John Ruddy.

LONDON - An FA commission wants to use the blueprint of the Spanish and German football leagues and allow Premier League clubs to enter B teams in lower divisions in a bid to improve the England national side, it said on Thursday.

The FA is proposing a major overhaul of English football with the introduction of a fourth-tier league from 2016-17 for top-flight clubs' B teams and limits on overseas players.

The commission was set up by FA chairman Greg Dyke and its members include England manager Roy Hodgson, former England coach Glenn Hoddle and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. "It was agreed that by 2022 our target should be that there are 90 English players playing regularly in the top European leagues, compared with 66 today, and of those 90 we would want at least 30 playing in the top six teams," Dyke told a news conference at Wembley Stadium.

The commission suggested the creation of a new 'League Three' which would initially be made up of 10 Premier League B teams and 10 sides from the cream of minor league football in a bid to give players more competitive matches.

Clubs could be promoted and relegated between League One, Two and Three and the minor league Conference but B teams could not play in the second-tier Championship and must always be at least one division below their A sides.

The plan is based on the structure of Spanish and German football, where younger players play competitively on a regular basis. The likes of Lionel Messi and Juan Mata came through Barcelona and Real Madrid's B teams respectively. "The majority of Germans, the Spanish, like Xavi, (Sergio) Busquets, even (Pep) Guardiola, came through the B team system, the model is there for it to work," said former England and Manchester City defender Danny Mills, a commission member. "The biggest problem is going to be change and the change of tradition but if we want to move forward we have to change" WORK PERMIT As well as the introduction of 'B' teams, the commission wants to overhaul the work permit system and prevent non-EU players joining any English club outside the Premier League.

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