Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has opined that the coronavirus crisis has given English football a chance to bring B teams into play as the current model isn’t sustainable. The financial effect of the pandemic has forced lower leagues into a crisis which many struggling to survive.
The English Football League (EFL) has struggled over the course of the last six months or so with many clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two struggling to cope. While there have been calls for the Premier League to help out in various ways but so far nothing has materialized for the lower leagues. Without the incredible TV revenue that the top tier enjoy, the lower league clubs have failed to cope without fans.
However, Ferran Soriano believes that the crisis allows the English Football League a chance to bring B-teams into play with it being a proposal that the EFL has rejected four years ago. But things could change over the next few years and Soriano believes that without B-teams, teams within England’s top tier could keep losing youngsters to clubs in Germany. He further added that they need to “solve” this issue and that is something the crisis gives them the opportunity to do so.
"One of the challenges is the EFL [is] a business that is not sustainable enough. They were discussing ways to improve it, they were discussing salary caps. Now they were sort of nudged, almost pushed, to solve the existing problems because of the crisis. It's a good opportunity for the different elements of the football business to get together and solve these problems,” Soriano said, reported Goal.
"There are other problems; the challenges of developing players in England where B teams are not allowed, we have a development gap of boys that are 17 or 18, they don't find the right place to develop and, for example, they are taken from us by the German teams, who try to sell them back to us for a price which is 10 times what they paid. This is mad, right? This is something we needed to solve and now maybe the crisis will give us the opportunity and will nudge us to get together and solve these issues."