So Benitez wants the Football League to mirror Spain and let clubs field a reserve team in the Championship or League One.
Awful idea. There are very few times I’ll disagree with Benitez, but I’m firmly in the camp of the opposition. I’m glad the manager is acting in Liverpool’s best interest, but come on. This idea could literally destroy League football, no exaggeration. At the least, it will certainly pervert it. The rich get richer, and the poor get shunted aside.
There are 72 clubs fighting day in and day out to stay in the Football League, whether it’s in the Championship, League One, or League Two. These are clubs that are part of individual communities, and communities that should and need to have league football. You absolutely cannot punish one of these clubs so Liverpool or Chelsea can get their reserves more time. It shouldn't even be suggested.
Admittedly, I want Liverpool’s reserves to play more. Benitez has done well so far in changing the system and culture of the reserve team, turning it into something similar to Arsenal’s youth system, which obviously has its benefits for the future. And these players need time to develop; it’s true, 18 games is not enough time for a young reserve team player to be playing. But it’s not right for that reserve team to take the spot of a senior club. Not in the slightest.
The opponents to this plan are spot on. Right now, there's a perfectly practical option in loaning some of the young players to Championship or SPL sides, as is the case with Adam Hamill, Danny Guthrie, Lee Peltier, Scott Carson, Danny O’Donnell, Besian Idrizaj, Godwin Antwi, and surely others I’m forgetting. Would these players be better served staying with Liverpool coaches and staff? Certainly. But not at the cost of a place in the League for another club.
If the reserve system is broken, then find another way to fix it. This isn’t feasible, and more importantly, this is not right.
There’s got to be some fairness left in sport.