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Football League Chairman to discuss controversial 'B League' proposals at AGM in Portugal

 

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The Chairman of the 72 members of the Football League will go to their AGM in Portugal this week, with the controversial 'B League' proposal their main topic of discussion.

The proposal, to introduce a league between League Two and the Conference, is an attempt to increase the number of home-grown players in the top flight. It was put forward by Greg Dyke as part of his commission into ways of improving the national side.

It has already drawn strong criticism from several Football League clubs, but has found supporters in the Premier League from the likes of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin is among those opposed to the proposal and says English football should not be tricked into copying a similar model in Spain.

Speaking to local BBC Radio, he said, "I lived in Spain for 10 years so I had first-hand experience of how the league structure works out there,"

"I think it is really easy to get carried away thinking the Spanish model is the Holy Grail of what we should be following."

"Below La Liga, it's in complete disarray. I used to go and watch third-tier games out there and you were lucky if you had 500 people there. A well-attended fourth-tier game has maybe 300 people turn up."

"Is that really the model we want to be following? It's all very well latching onto the fact that at this moment in time it's a golden era for Spanish football. People have to remember they only won their first World Cup in 2010."

"It's a bit dangerous for us to change our whole league structure and effect the integrity and independence of our league based on the the success of a few years for the Spanish national team."

Other League One and Two clubs have been critical, with Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony previously saying the proposal "can't be allowed to happen".

Among other things that will be discussed at the AGM are the use of artificial '3G' pitches , while the Football League will also present an alternative proposal to Dyke's plan to incorporate Premier League B teams  in an expanded Johnstone's Paint Trophy to include a group stage.

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