Everton manager David Moyes has revealed his attempts to get a Toffees 'B' team into the Conference were scuppered by red tape.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has backed a change to the existing system for reserve teams by suggesting England should look to the example set by Spain, where top-flight clubs field second string sides in lower divisions. Several years ago Moyes explored a similar option but was frustrated by the sheer depth of the non-league football pyramid.
"Four or five years ago I would have liked to have put an Everton reserve team into the Conference because it would have been better football for them," he said.
"My hope was that we could have used Widnes' stadium as the home ground and that when Everton were playing away the B team would have played in the Conference there.
"That was my long (term) idea because I thought the games would have been better, more competitive and more realistic for the players.
"But we would have had to have gone into Division Nine of the North-West Outer Counties or whatever you want to call it and it would have taken 10 or 11 years to get through.
"I would have been happy just to be in the Conference - no promotion, not involved in cups or anything - just so I could have got a good reserve team and given young players a game against the men.
"If clubs had the right facilities to play on a Saturday I thought it might have helped the Conference as well.
"We have the North and South conferences so it would have been ideal if we had had two or three clubs who had wanted to go into it and it would have maybe boosted the Conference a little bit as well.
"But I think it would be unfair for any team to go into the Championship, the tradition in this country would see that not as the right thing to do."