IAN Evatt reckons the introduction of B Teams into the lower divisions would be a destructive move in the domestic game.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claimed this week that it would be beneficial for English football if his club was able to field an Under-23s team in League One or Two on a weekly basis.

His comments have caused a stir outside the top-flight, with many supporters keen to point out that City and other Premier League clubs have used their riches to ‘stockpile’ younger players but often charge big fees to allow them to play elsewhere on loan.

Evatt is a self-confessed Guardiola fan but believes the only way B Teams would work in English football is if they were formalised in their own competition.

“I love Pep and his coaching methods but I wouldn’t be a fan of them entering League One or Two. If you look at how these lads get on in the Papa John’s Trophy against full men’s teams, I don’t remember them having much success,” he told The Bolton News.

“There is an argument for B Teams, I am a fan of the idea, but they should have their own league and play against each other. They shouldn’t be messing around with our pyramid because it is the best in the world and it should stay that way.

“I remember the Pontins League, being a 17-year-old kid and playing against the likes of Mark Hughes and it was an unbelievable grounding for me.

“There is no reason whatsoever that those things cannot come back around but they should leave our league clubs to what they are doing at the moment and leave reserve teams to play against reserve teams.”

Wanderers have reintroduced their own reserve team, now playing in the Central League, in order to give their fringe players and youngsters more competitive football.

“People that are not playing regular first team football need games, they are no good to anybody getting five or 10 minutes here and there and training,” Evatt said.

“Regardless of what you do in training you can’t replicate match time.

“If that means playing I reserve fixtures then so be it. Things were tough last season with the condensed fixture list and the pandemic but hopefully we are coming out of that now and if football is coming back into normality then there is no reason why we can’t proper competitive reserve team fixtures in a competitive league against all of the big clubs. It can only bode well for the younger players to come up against more experienced lads.”

Evatt is also against the idea that ‘sister clubs’ could be fostered in order for players to be moved out en mass from one team to another.

“Even though we have benefited from the loan market, I am not a huge fan,” he said.

“There is a place for it and if you use it strategically it can help but fundamentally we want to develop our own assets.

“If players are coming into us, unless they can make a real difference to the team, then primarily we are developing someone else’s asset. Why would we do that?

“The right way is competitive B Team leagues. We shouldn’t tinker with things too much and end up like the Spanish league where you have Real Madrid B, Atletico Madrid B, Barcelona B, who play in their equivalent Championship but can’t be promoted. It becomes a farce and a bit false.”