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Stoke chairman Coates supportive of 'B League' plans

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates is supportive of the FA's 'B League' plans.

Coates admits the plans are not perfect, but thinks big changes are needed to stop young players "falling into a development black hole" between the ages of 18 and 23.

He told The Sentinel: "We broadly back the plans, but we need to look at the detail. There is definitely a need to do something because there is a real problem of players from 18 to 22, 23, 24 getting the right level of competitive football.

"The Premier League is the toughest, most competitive league in the world and unless you are Wayne Rooney or an exceptional talent, you are going to struggle for game time at an early age.

"There is a huge gulf between the standard of the Premier League and youth football and even very, very good young players are slipping into a black hole when they should be playing.

"There will be opposition and there is certainly a lot of work to be done, but it has started a debate that needs to be heard in English football."

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