'Non-negotiable' - EFL chief reveals stance on Premier League issue that could involve Leeds United

Introducing Premier League 'B' teams into the EFL from top flight clubs such as Leeds United is "non-negotiable”, according to chairman Rick Parry.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 3:45 pm
Leeds United's Sean McGurk in action against Tranmere in the EFL Trophy. Pic: Getty

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said it would be “best for English football” for academy players to go up against sides in the Championship or League One every weekend, while the club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano has also spoken favourably about the idea in the past.

The EFL Trophy was revamped back in 2016 and already allows clubs with category one academy status to enter an Under 21 team into the competition to take part alongside Football League sides, which was done in a bid to help expose prospective players to a different challenge.

Leeds United have taken up the option to enter the tournament for the past two seasons under development boss Mark Jackson and secured their first win against Oldham Athletic last month.

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EFL chair Parry, however, insists that there is no possibility of making any further changes to English football's league structure, despite the voices of opposition at Premier League champions City.

“I just don’t see it, and irrespective of my view, it is absolutely not something that our clubs have any enthusiasm for," Parry told PA Sport.

“It’s been tried – (former FA chair) Greg Dyke tried it. (Another former FA chair) Greg Clarke introduced it at the very start of (Project) 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.”

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