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Premier League propose 'B' League to replace U21 format

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed that there are plans for a 'B' league to come into existence. The new league would replace the current Under-21 league format, and would be for Under-23 players with four over-age players allowed.

"We understand the challenge of developing English talent good enough to play in the Premier League first team is how do you get them to transition from Under-18s into first-team squads? It is such a huge leap. You have to have the transition phase, the 'professional development phase' we call it," he explained to the Daily Telegraph.

"The Under-21 League is technically very good but not where it needs to be in terms of meaningful competition for these youngsters.

"The minute you call it 'Under-21' people think it is no use. It needs a better name and a better focus. All clubs recognise that. We need proper kick-off times, using main stadiums, anything to create an experience that is more competitive and more like the first team so it doesn't come as such a shock. And those players in that group should be interchangeable with the first team.

"They should be category one clubs and we are happy for them to be in that league with 16 of ours, and six of the Championship. If more cat one clubs come along you structure it accordingly.

"It should be in all our interests that people have more cat one academies because that's the best it can be.''

Scudamore insisted that the new league would have no impact on the Football League or its structure.

"Having been chief executive of the Football League, I believe in the pyramid. If you set up a club behind the Dog and Duck, make your way up through those 44,000 others, and climb over enough to get to us - brilliant, we'd love to have you," he continued.

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Dave Williams

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