EFL chief speaks out on controversial B-team proposal and hints at Carabao Cup changes

The idea of Premier League B teams playing in the EFL was again floated by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recently.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 3:04 pm
Rick Parry. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

But EFL chair Rick Parry has poured cold water on the proposal and declared ‘it’s not happening’.

However, Parry has warned that ‘changes are coming’ to the Carabao Cup as English football gears up for the change in European competition structure from 2024.

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

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“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.”

Parry is still pushing for the EFL to receive a 25 per cent cut of the revenue from selling Premier League and EFL boadcast rights together.

But while he insists that B teams dropping into the EFL is a non-starter, Parry admits that the Carabao Cup could potentially be used as a bargaining chip to secure a greater share of broadcast revenue.

“Yes it might,” he said. “And it gives us the flexibility to decide whether…this is just speculation, but anything could happen. Could it be that the clubs not in Europe play in it, could it just be an EFL competition? All things are possible.”

He added: “We ought to be having this debate realistically now, which is why it was part of Big Picture, because it’s going to hit us in 2024. There’s no point trying to have the debate in January 2024, it’s too late.

“We have to plan now, we have to be realistic, changes are coming.”