Basing a second team in a competition further down the League tree would be of immense benefit to the parent club, as they could shuffle players in and out of their lineups to get game time as required.
Barcelona, amongst other clubs, uses such a model in the Liga Adelante; while the practice has become so treasured in ’s AFL that most clubs are now in a hurry to set up their own subsidiary club. However in Australia , it is almost unworkable – if not for the logistics, but the fans. England
Red tape hurdles include the strict nature of the English League “tree” – Everton boss David Moyes said this morning he tried five years ago to get a youthful Everton B team experience playing against grown men in the Conference (
’s fourth division). However, he was told any new club would have to start in the lowest division – the ninth tier – and work their way up as have some more famous foundling clubs like AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester. England
More problematic are the fans. English fans, starting with respected and popular Football League blog The Seventy Two, object to their clubs being disadvantaged to suit the mega-rich. And fair enough too: apart from somewhat minimising the raison d'etre of those clubs whose First XIs compete in the Championship, the League has a rich history and the landscape would change forever (but not necessarily for the worse, mind you).
For the Football League to undergo such a radical re-shape simply for the benefit of Chelsea/Man United/Man City/Arsenal youth players would be a devalue English football for the benefit of a few superwealthy clubs.
I can’t see why Andre Villas-Boas wouldn’t want Chelsea B team to play in the Championship. As a manager focused mainly on results in the short and mid-term, it would be perfect. But unfortunately it’s a concept which will have to remain strictly Iberian.