Feeder clubs and B teams, indeed. Meddling with over a hundred years of footballing history.
Probably the politest response came from Football League chief executive at the time Shaun Harvey, who simply said the report “may not contain a solution that is acceptable at the current time”.
Now we are very much in a “different time”.
The irony is that the example commonly cited as a potential feeder situation when this was being discussed was between Bury and neighbours Manchester United.
Fans of the Gigg Lane club were adamant, though, they should not exist as a puppet of third-party owners. Now their club barely exists at all.
That was before coronavirus left many clubs facing just as bleak a future.
Ashworth has worked on both sides of the fence. He questions whether post-coronavirus football can sustain so many independent league clubs.
“We are always going to talk about the structure of the pyramid as the strength of the English game but it could be deemed part of the weakness,” he said.
“91 professional clubs plus the number of players who are professional in the non-league pyramid is a lot of professionals for a relatively small population when you look at other countries.
Published at Fri, 08 May 2020 23:00:00 +0000