Premier League B teams in the EFL ‘not happening’, says chair Rick Parry
Premier League B teams in the EFL 'not happening', says chair Rick Parry
Introducing Premier League B teams into the EFL is “non-negotiable”, the league’s chair Rick Parry has insisted.
The idea, which was core to last year’s rejected ‘Project Big Picture’, was recently reiterated by Pep Guardiola – manager of Manchester City, who are keen on the idea to help their development of young players.
But Parry says “I just don’t see it” as he commented on the future plans for English football in the wake of forthcoming changes to the European competition structure in 2024.
“Irrespective of my view, it is absolutely not something that our clubs have any enthusiasm for,” Parry said.
“It’s been tried. (Former FA chair) Greg Dyke tried it. (Another former FA chair) Greg Clarke introduced it at the very start of Big Picture and I said ‘that’s non-negotiable, it’s not happening’.
“Frankly, I don’t even see it being on the table. I’ve spoken quite a lot about fresh ideas, new thinking, not having preconceived ideas – but I’ve got a preconceived idea about B teams and that’s not within the boundaries.
“The strength of the EFL is that every one of our clubs sits at the heart of the community. Our clubs put almost as much emphasis on the community as they do on the first team and what happens on the pitch.
“This isn’t about B teams suddenly parachuting in because you cannot possibly replicate that, it’s just misunderstanding what the pyramid is.”
Parry, however, did confirm that “changes are coming” to the EFL Cup – currently named the Carabao Cup.
The former Liverpool chief executive asked: “Could it be that the clubs not in Europe play in it, could it just be an EFL competition? All things are possible.
“We ought to be having this debate realistically now, which is why it was part of Big Picture, because it’s going to hit us in 2024.
“There’s no point trying to have the debate in January 2024, it’s too late. We have to plan now. We have to be realistic. Changes are coming.”