Harriers criticise plans for new league

Worcester News: (6045451) (6045451)

PLANS to introduce a new tier between the Conference and Football League have been criticised by Kidderminster Harriers.

An FA commission, headed by chairman Greg Dyke, wants to bring in a League Three comprising 10 Premier League 'B' teams and 10 from the Conference for the 2016-17 season.

The idea is to increase the number of English players in the Premier League and boost the chances of success for the national side.

Only 32 per cent of Premier League starters last season qualified to play for England, compared to 69 per cent two decades ago.

But Harriers, who missed out on the Conference Premier play-offs this season after finishing seventh, reckon the proposals have been ill thought through.

A club spokesman said: “These plans fail to realise just how competitive and passionately supported non-league football really is.

“A new league would send out the wrong message, saying that the teams outside of the Football League are not as important and deny teams with aspirations of promotion the chance to do so.

“They also talk about trying to improve the England team, but it is unclear how these plans would do this and fails to recognise the number of homegrown players who began their careers in the Conference.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Callum Gittings was named manager and players’ player-of-the-season at the club’s end-of-season dinner. He also claimed the accolade for goal of the year.

C&S Solicitors have also agreed to continue as one of the club’s sponsors. They will have their names on the back of the shirt and sponsor the main stand.

In addition, the club have sold just over 550 of their discounted early bird season tickets.

Harriers commercial manager Mark Searl said: “Commercially, it’s been one of the best seasons we’ve had and we’re delighted to still be able to count on C&S’s support as we plan for the new term.”

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