Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League, yesterday criticised a proposal to create a new B-team league within the existing set up in the English game.

The plan was outlined on Thursday by FA chairman Greg Dyke and was since been backed by a number of manager in the Premier League.

The new league - which would be inserted beneath League 2 and the Conference and would comprise Premier League B teams and non-league sides - is intended to help nurture young English players by offering competitive matches. The FA are concerned that academy matches do not aid player development sufficiently, with just 32% of players who started matches in the top flight last season qualified to play for England.

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However, the proposal has met resistance from Scudamore. "The English [league] pyramid is one of our unique strengths and would like to think we would be able to come up with a solution which doesn't mean the decimation, the infiltration or the damage of something precious," he said.