Competition structures · English clubs · English league · European football · Playing football

Reserve Teams In Same Structure As First Teams

In reply to

I am against any participation of reserve sides in the pyramid because of the potential, and in many cases actual, damage to the integrity of the competitions in which either the reserve team of a club, or even the first team of the same club compete.

Concerns about the integrity of the system should not be under-estimated.

If, towards the end of he season, the first team, say in the first tier are already safe but have no chance of achieving anything, what is to stop a club from from using players who might ordinarily be expected to in the first team in the reserve team, in order to win the title in its league?

In a self-standing reserve league, it wouldn’t matter, since all the reserve teams are broadly in the same boat.

In a parallel league, what if the rival for the title is a smaller first team (without the recourse to better first team players)?

I’m generally not in favour of anything that detracts from a level playing field.

The reserve team system in England works well, much better than the system used in Germany, with the inherent unfairness of reserve teams playing within the same overall pyramid structure as first teams.

I think it is a pity that the Premier Reserve League is separate from the Central League and the Football Combination.

There is no reason why reserve teams should not play in a self-standing pyramid of their own. If clubs want more reserve games, increase the size of each division to 14 or 16 clubs, so that they play 26 to 30 league games a season.

(Merger of two posts on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum – 1st & 2nd)


2 thoughts on “Reserve Teams In Same Structure As First Teams

  1. In reply to

    I have a much more fundamental objection to mixed 1st team/reserve leagues. The objective of any 1st team should be to win football matches and they should put out their best team to try to achieve this. The fact that so many get away with putting out inferior XIs in cup competitions, league matches against poorer teams etc is anathema to me.

    The objective of a reserve team is to keep squad players fit, bring on young players, rehabilitate injured players etc. As long as they do that, it is irrelevant how many games they win.

    These two objectives are not compatible and distort any competitions where the two types of team meet up.

    As a season ticket holder at a Championship club, I bitterly resented Mourinho’s suggestion that my club should be used to keep his reserve team fit. I would rather watch inferior players giving 100% than a superstar getting 30 minutes to see if his hamstring injury has recovered.

    That’s the best argument yet for not allowing reserve teams to play within the same structure as first teams.

    So why do Spain and Germany allow reserve teams to do so? Don’t they have sufficient numbers of reserve teams of sufficient quality to sustain a self-standing league? Or have they simply not thought through the issue?

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

  2. Four games into the new season, and Bayern Munich II lead Liga (the new third tier of German football).

    VfB Stuttgart II are above Stuttgart Kickers, which can’t be good for Kickers self-esteem.

    It reminds me of the joke attributed to Bill Shankly, in which he is supposed to have said “In my time at Anfield, we always said we had the two best teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves.”

    Not particularly funny I know, but in the case of Stuttgart, it might be said to be true of VfB Stuttgart and VfB Stuttgart II.

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