Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has raised the highly controversial prospect of Premier League B Teams joining the league pyramid.

The suggestion comes as EFL clubs wait anxiously for the financial help they need to survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Soriano insisted the current situation, which sees clubs' finances hit hard by the absence of fans from games, should prompt a "rethink" about football's structure in England.

His raising of the B Team issue, though, will cause fury among many lower-league supporters who have long been firmly against the idea.

The Government has insisted top-flight clubs should support the EFL with bail-out cash, but it is understood any such help would come with conditions and caveats.

The EFL has said it needs £250m to help clubs survive with fans not allowed into grounds until March at the earliest.

Soriano suggested that any restructure should lead to more opportunities for the young players on the books of big clubs to play competitively.

"One of the challenges is the EFL [is] a business that is not sustainable enough,” he said at

“They were discussing ways to improve it, they were discussing salary caps, now they were sort of nudged, almost pushed, to solve the existing problems because of the crisis.

“It’s a good opportunity for the different elements of the football business to get together and solve these problems.

“There are other problems, the challenges of developing players in England where B teams are not allowed.

"We have a development gap of boys that are 17 or 18, they don’t find the right place to develop and for example they are taken from us by the German teams who try to sell them back to us for a price which is 10 times what they paid.

“This is mad, right? This is something we needed to solve and now maybe the crisis will give us the opportunity and will nudge us to get together and solve these issues.”

The EFL have long insisted that they are against B Teams joining the league structure, despite the involvement of Category One academy sides in the EFL Trophy since 2016.

League bosses protested the latter was not "the thin end of the wedge" regarding B Teams joining the league structure as they have in some European countries.

Fans of many lower-league clubs, though, have consistently boycotted the Trophy since the change in format, which brought prize money and participations to EFL clubs from the Premier League.

Like many lower-league clubs, Carlisle United have voted in favour of the top Under-21 clubs taking part in the Trophy because of the financial benefits.

Clubs and organisations are continuing to lobby the Government to allow fans back into stadiums in order to help save clubs.