Bradford City co-chairman Mark Lawn labels B team idea an ‘insult’ to fans

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City co-chairman Mark Lawn believes the Football Association are ‘scared’ of the Premier League City co-chairman Mark Lawn believes the Football Association are ‘scared’ of the Premier League

Mark Lawn has joined the chorus of condemnation over the “daft” plan to put Premier League B teams in the Football League and blasted: It’s an insult to the fans.

The idea of setting up a new League Three for 2016-17, to include ten back-up squads from the top flight, is the most controversial of the proposals suggested by an England commission aimed at improving the national team’s fortunes.

But City co-chairman Lawn accused FA chairman Greg Dyke, who is behind the report, of ignoring the supporters in the lower divisions.

Lawn said: “It’s absolute nonsense; a completely daft scheme. It’s insulting to the lower leagues and also shows that the FA have no regard for the fans of those clubs.

“If they honestly think supporters would put up with this, then they are completely out of touch.

“The two bottom divisions don’t get a lot of TV coverage. It’s about supporters coming to the games.

“But fans will stay away in droves if this came in. (Former England defender) Danny Mills tried to say that fans would rather watch a Man United B than Torquay – I don’t think the crowd would be anywhere near.

“We’d be lucky to get 2,000 turning up at Valley Parade to watch us play against someone’s reserve team. It’s utterly ridiculous.”

City regularly faced Premier League youngsters on loan last season, such as Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford for MK Dons and Spurs midfielder Alex Pritchard at Swindon.

Lawn said: “What is wrong with clubs using the loan system like they do now?

“Manchester United did that with Tom Cleverley. He went to a League One club for a year, then to the Championship, then another team in the Premier League.

“They improved him year on year and now he’s playing for United and for England.

“But is there anybody on the FA commission from League One or League Two? I don’t think so. It’s not our problem – it’s a higher league problem. So why involve us?

“It’s just another way to appease the Premier League by giving them an outlet to hold on to players for longer to see how they do before they ditch them.”

Both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Tottenham are among those who have already declared an interest. But it has been widely criticised within the Football League.

Lawn believes the real issue is the high number of overseas imports which restrict opportunities at the top level.

He said: “There are too many foreign players. Obviously the top ones have improved English football but some of the players now are just being brought in for the sake of it.

“Some Premier League youth teams are full of lads who are French or Spanish. Perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed to sign any foreign players until they are 21.

“But the FA are scared of the Premier League and trying to tell them what they should be doing, so instead they pick on the Football League.

“There’s Greg Dyke saying ‘what else can we do?’ Well why don’t they stop being a patsy for the Premier League for starters.

“I’m all for improving the England team but this is missing the major point. There are too many foreign players in the Premier League and unless they are going to do something about that, then they might as well do nothing.

“It’s like putting a plaster on an arm that’s been chopped off. It just doesn’t work.”

Comments (9)

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8:10pm Fri 9 May 14

Baby Bantam says...

I totally agree with Mark Lawn, they should just put a cap on how many foreign players teams can have, a football club should have one league side, not two!! How fare is it that when Man U, Liverpool etc have two teams!!, how are smaller clubs ment to compete against that, the gap between the top 4 in the premiership and the rest of the English clubs are just getting bigger and bigger and it isn't good
I totally agree with Mark Lawn, they should just put a cap on how many foreign players teams can have, a football club should have one league side, not two!! How fare is it that when Man U, Liverpool etc have two teams!!, how are smaller clubs ment to compete against that, the gap between the top 4 in the premiership and the rest of the English clubs are just getting bigger and bigger and it isn't good Baby Bantam
  • Score: 8

10:05pm Fri 9 May 14

Saltaire Bantam says...

Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.
Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going. Saltaire Bantam
  • Score: 5

10:34pm Fri 9 May 14

KnightMcCall says...

Saltaire Bantam wrote:
Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.
The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet.
[quote][p][bold]Saltaire Bantam[/bold] wrote: Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.[/p][/quote]The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 5

10:34pm Fri 9 May 14

KnightMcCall says...

Saltaire Bantam wrote:
Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.
The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet.
[quote][p][bold]Saltaire Bantam[/bold] wrote: Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.[/p][/quote]The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Fri 9 May 14

KnightMcCall says...

Saltaire Bantam wrote:
Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.
The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet.
[quote][p][bold]Saltaire Bantam[/bold] wrote: Bradford City vs Stoke reserve team. Don't think I would bother going.[/p][/quote]The problem is that the owners of the big clubs dont give a toss about Bradford City or any other teams outside the top flight. Everything the FA proposed is nonsense. I had to laugh when Mills was proclaiming that Messi started in the Barca B team...yes but its not helping Spain is it you utter muppet. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 0

7:26am Sat 10 May 14

Statler4 says...

A totally stupid and patronising idea that should be put where it belongs - in the dustbin. Mark Lawn is spot on with his comments.
A totally stupid and patronising idea that should be put where it belongs - in the dustbin. Mark Lawn is spot on with his comments. Statler4
  • Score: 4

10:45am Sat 10 May 14

nowt fresh says...

If you disagree with the FA proposal sign this petition :http://www.change.o
rg/en-GB/petitions/t
he-football-associat
ion-say-no-to-b-team
s,
pass it on to your footballing friends and the FA may start to take notice.
If you disagree with the FA proposal sign this petition :http://www.change.o rg/en-GB/petitions/t he-football-associat ion-say-no-to-b-team s, pass it on to your footballing friends and the FA may start to take notice. nowt fresh
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Sat 10 May 14

KnightMcCall says...

The Premier League is responsible for the fall in English players playing in the top flight. The reason is money and nothing else. Premier league teams recruit for their own success and not to give us a strong England team. B teams would not change this but they would cement the financial gulf between Premier League and others. B teams would be full of top foreign talent anyway just like the Premier League under 21s.

Fairer competition amongst the 92 pro teams with a fairer distribution of money is the only way to promote english youth. I care much more about City than England anyway and the FA just dont understand that.
The Premier League is responsible for the fall in English players playing in the top flight. The reason is money and nothing else. Premier league teams recruit for their own success and not to give us a strong England team. B teams would not change this but they would cement the financial gulf between Premier League and others. B teams would be full of top foreign talent anyway just like the Premier League under 21s. Fairer competition amongst the 92 pro teams with a fairer distribution of money is the only way to promote english youth. I care much more about City than England anyway and the FA just dont understand that. KnightMcCall
  • Score: 4

1:47pm Mon 12 May 14

spleen ventor says...

Greg Dyke says none of these so called 'B' teams could be promoted above League One level so as not to take the promotion place of a genuine League One team....I ask this...what if one of these so called 'big' clubs found itself bottom of the Championship after a couple of seasons, is he saying they wouldn't be relegated?.....you only have to look at what happened to 'friends' from Beeston to see it's a possibility!
Greg Dyke says none of these so called 'B' teams could be promoted above League One level so as not to take the promotion place of a genuine League One team....I ask this...what if one of these so called 'big' clubs found itself bottom of the Championship after a couple of seasons, is he saying they wouldn't be relegated?.....you only have to look at what happened to 'friends' from Beeston to see it's a possibility! spleen ventor
  • Score: 0

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