Reserve league getting weaker

Last updated : 25 May 2002 By Tony Scholes

With the Premiership having formed their own reserve league there are no games against the Liverpool clubs or the Manchester clubs any longer for us, in fact we don't even get to play reserve games against Bolton and other teams along the M65. But the number of clubs in the Premiership reserve league is now set to increase.

Next season will see two clubs who were in the 2001/02 Avon Insurance League Premier Division, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion, move up into the Premier Reserve League. The rules for that league previously allowed clubs relegated from the Premiership to keep their reserve teams at that level for a further two years.

However a change of rules now allows clubs no longer in the Premiership to keep their reserve teams in the Premiership reserve league indefinitely provided they retain both academy and First Division status. This allowed for Nottingham Forest to remain there last year and this time round Sheffield Wednesday, Watford and Wimbledon will be the beneficiaries.

Sheffield Wednesday would have been the only club to join us this year and their absence is no loss, they even came close to scrapping their reserve team this week as an economy measure. It does mean though that we will play in a weaker league as time goes on unless we can win ourselves a place in the Premiership AND get the club to academy status.