London: England`s Football League revealed on Wednesday that lower-league clubs have been asked to consider proposals for Premier League teams` under-21 sides to compete in the Football League Trophy.
The move comes after proposals by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke`s England Commission in June 2014 to create a new tier for Premier League `B` teams was met with fierce opposition from lower-league clubs.
The new proposal concerning the Football League Trophy -- which currently features teams from third-tier League One and fourth-tier League Two -- was put forward during a recent meeting to discuss the commission`s findings at England`s St George`s Park National Football Centre.
"Clubs have been asked to consider the concept of permitting 16 U21 teams from clubs with category-one academies to participate in The Football League Trophy," said a statement from the Football League, which runs the second, third and fourth divisions in English professional football.
The statement added that the clubs had only been asked whether they wished to consider the matter further, with "no formal proposals ... tabled and no formal vote taken".
The England Commission was set up by Dyke to analyse the failings of the English national team and address the decline in the number of England-eligible players competing in the Premier League.
Since winning the World Cup in 1966, England have only twice reached the semi-finals of a major tournament, while the number of homegrown players in the Premier League pales in comparison with championships such as the Spanish Liga and the German Bundesliga.
Aside from the unpopular `B` team proposals, the commission`s other initiatives included tighter restrictions on non-European Union players and a significant programme of investment in grassroots facilities and coaching.
The final of the 2014-15 Football League Trophy, between League One rivals Walsall and Bristol City, is due to take place at Wembley on March 22.