IAN Evatt feels football would be stripped of its roots if Premier League B teams were allowed to be introduced into the English Football League.

Owners and chairmen have reacted angrily to the comments of Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who has called for a review of the football pyramid.

The decision to allow top flight Under 21 sides to compete in the EFL Trophy was a controversial and divisive one in 2016.

But many feel that introducing similar sides into the league format would be a step too far, and Bolton manager Evatt agrees.

“It’s easy to say that in your ivory tower," said the Wanderers boss or Soriano's suggestion.

“This is a fundamental part of not only Britain as a whole but as our society and communities, football clubs are part of our communities and towns and they are the biggest thing.

“Bolton, as a football club, has a rich history, and it’s one town, one club, one community - it’s that ethos.

“If you take these clubs away and you start developing these rich B teams, you’re going to lose a huge part of what we stand for as people. Working class people. This is what this game was brought in to be. We developed the game, we introduced the game, and it was for working class people. So why should, just because you’re sat in an ivory tower, you take that away from the working class man. For me that’s absolute nonsense."

Soriano argues that the current EFL structure is unsustainable, allied to a lack of development opportunities for youngsters in the top academies.

Speaking at the Leaders in Sports' online forum, LeadersWeek,direct, the City chief said: "We need to solve the economic situation of the EFL so that clubs in the EFL are sustainable.

"There might be opportunities to add more clubs into the pyramid, look at places like the US where more and more franchises are being created. I don't know the answer but maybe we should ask if we have enough clubs or do we have more, or can we give more resources and opportunities to clubs that already exist and have tradition to develop.

"It is a good time now to get all of these questions on the table.

"There are other problems, for example the challenge of developing young players in England where B teams are not allowed and we have a development gap of boys that are 17 or 18 who don't find the right place to develop. Then, for example, they are taken by the German teams who try to sell them back to us at 10 times what they pay.

"This is bad and something that we needed to solve and maybe now the crisis will give us an opportunity to nudge us and get together to solve these issues."