Danny Mills: Fans of Hartlepool would far rather see their club play Manchester United B than Torquay United

Danny Mills
Danny Mills

Football pundit Danny Mills has claimed that Hartlepool Utd fans would rather see Pools play a Manchester Utd B team than Torquay Utd.

The comments come in the wake of the FA England Commission’s plan to introduce Premier League B teams in to the Football League.

Former Middlesbrough and England defender Mills, who sat on the commission that came up with the recommendation, has been reported as saying Pools fans would rather see their team take on a Red Devils B team than Torquay.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has found his plans for a new ‘League Three’ involving Premier League clubs’ B teams the object of derision.

Dyke unveiled a raft of England Commission proposals at Wembley on Thursday, aimed at boosting the number of English players at the top of club football.

Also included were plans for special loan relationships between clubs, overhauling the work permit system and increasing the number of home-grown players in squads.

The most controversial however would be the introduction of Premier League B teams in a new ‘League Three’ from 2016/17.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony reacted on Twitter saying: “My thoughts on this B team scenario - It’s all about ME,ME & ME from the FA/Prem & to hell with the rest of you. Cant be allowed to happen!

‘’In this instance, its finally time for the 72 FL chairmen & most importantly our Chairman GC (Greg Clarke) to be strong to ensure this doesn’t happen.”

Accrington Stanley stated sarcastically: “In 2016/17 we can achieve our dream... We’ll finally be able to play Stoke City Reserves in the Football League...”

The Football League said there was no “acceptable solution” in the Commission’s report while England’s record goalscorer Gary Lineker described the B-team idea as “nonsense” and the Football Supporters’ Federation expressed outrage it was not consulted.

A Football Conference statement said: “The English pyramid system is unique, having evolved over 100 years.

“It has supported the growth of football into a league system that has become the envy of the world. It is important in these proposals to remember the heritage of the English game.”

Dyke claims he has had backing from the top clubs for his plan to introduce B teams - even if the leagues do not like it.

Dyke said teams including Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City were enthusiastic about the proposal and believes club power can win the day even though the Premier League refused to be part of his England Commission.

Dyke has set a target of increasing the number of English players in the Premier League from 32 per cent to 45 per cent by 2022 in his Commission report.

Asked if he feared the leagues would block his proposals, he said:

“I don’t think that will happen. Do I think every bit of this will happen no, do I think a lot of it will - yes. You have to distinguish sometimes between the leagues and the clubs.

“Let’s remember - we invited the Premier League to sit on this and the Premier League chose not to. When I met them last week they said ‘why didn’t you consult us?’ and we said we did consult your members and secondly we wanted you on this, to be part of it.

“You must look at the distinction between the league and the clubs, a lot of the clubs want this.”