New Reserve League Format Announced/Cesc

Yesterday saw the official announcement of a new format for the Premier League Reserve Division. There’ll be three groups, one in the South consisting of us, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, and two Northern groups as follows:
Bolton Wanderers
Manchester City
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Wigan Athletic
Blackburn Rovers
Blackpool
Everton
Liverpool
Sunderland AFC
Spurs, Fulham, Stoke City and Birmingham City have all chosen not to enter for some reason. Each team will play every other team in its group home and away and each team in the other two groups once, equally split between home and away matches. I don’t know how the home and away fixtures against the teams in the two northern groups will be decided. At the end of group play the winners of the two northern groups will play each other to decide who plays the winner of the southern group for the Premier League Reserve Division title. I’m assuming the play-offs will all be two-legged affairs but I haven’t confirmed that as yet. What we definitely won’t have is a competitive reserve team game against the Forces of Darkness from the wrong end of the Seven Sisters Road.
The other bad news for regulars at reserve team games is some will be played behind closed doors at the training ground at Shenley on midweek afternoons. A number (still to be finally determined but to take place in September, March and April) will continue to be played with evening kick-offs at Underhill. FA Youth Cup home ties will also be played at Underhill up to and including the Fifth Round if we get that far.
I’m pleased that we’re continuing the Barnet link. Playing reserve and youth team games there along with the annual first team friendly is a painless way of putting something back into the grass roots of the professional game, as is our away reserve team friendly against AFC Wimbledon on the first Saturday of next month. I’m looking forward to a good day out in Womble Land.
As you read this I shall be either travelling to or have arrived in Barcelona for a work commitment so excuse me if I don’t get time to post any responses to your comments. I shall blow a very loud raspberry if I past the Nou Camp and shout loudly “OI! BARCA! CESC! NO!” As regular readers of this blog will know I’ve been a long-standing admirer of so much about FC Barcelona. I’m afraid I’m losing much of that respect over their disgraceful conduct in the long-running Cesc saga.
Ironically the conference I’m attending will take place at Espanyol’s new ground. If it was being held at the Nou Camp I would probably end up in the local nick for bricking all the office windows and/or squeezing out a couple of large, smelly Richard the Thirds as “souvenirs” of my visit on Barça president Sandro Rosell’s desk.
I’m afraid all Barça deserve for their orchestrated attempts to poach Fàbregas is just that – a great big, large, smelly, festering, fly-ridden pile of pony.
Keep the faith!

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