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Friday 09 May 2014

Scudamore states support for existing Football League structure

Premier League CEO says proposal of Premier League 'B teams' could damage pyramid

Richard Scudamore: "I think the English pyramid is one of our unique strengths"

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has stated his support for the present structure of the Football League, saying a proposal to set up Premier League “B teams” within it could lead to damage.

A report issued yesterday by the England Commission set up by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke included as one of its proposals the introduction of Premier League "B teams" within the footballing pyramid.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Scudamore stated his support for the aims of the commission, but said it should not be at the expense of the present football pyramid in England.

“The commission report has hit upon an issue that we are all faced with: a big challenge as to how do you take this huge investment that we make in youth up to the age of 18?” Scudamore said. "How do you get all that talent through and convert it into first-team players able to hold their own in the Premier League and able to compete for England?

“That's a challenge we recognise. We know we have to address it and we are going to sit down and yet again re-examine everything we do in terms of trying to overcome that challenge.

"So I have no issue with the identification of, if you like, 'the problem', but I have been on record very recently as saying I think the English pyramid is one of our unique strengths and I would like to think we would be able to come up with a solution which doesn't mean the decimation or the infiltration or the damage really of something precious.

"I have some real concerns we shouldn't be looking to infiltrate and damage the pyramid and therefore I would like to think we should exhaust all other options, all other ideas."

Scudamore also insisted that despite his opposition to the B team proposal the Premier League remains "hugely supportive" of the FA.

"The starting point is our clubs play in the FA Cup and they enjoy playing in the FA Cup and they want to win the FA Cup,” he said. "We absolutely encourage and make sure clubs release players when they are supposed to release them for England duty and fundamentally that's the most supportive you can be."

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