QPR to introduce B team as part of shake-up

QPR are introducing a B team.

The club’s academy structure will stay in place and Rangers’ Under-23 side will continue to play in the Professional Development League.

Rangers’ current plans will not see them follow neighbours Brentford, who scrapped their academy in favour of a B-team set-up.

The change will instead be more along the lines of an overhaul made last year by Southampton, who introduced a B team but continued to compete in Premier League 2 and other Under-23 competitions.

Rangers’ B team is essentially already operating, with a QPR XI having played recent friendlies against non-League sides.

That is very much seen as a platform to the B team being formally created.

The change is designed to improve the pathway to the first team for players on the cusp of senior football.

Current Under-23 fixtures are limited and unpredictable, with opposing line-ups sometimes made up mostly of scholars and at other times mostly first-team squad members.

Having a B team would lead to more matches being arranged against non-League sides and the second strings of Premier League clubs, which is seen as potentially a better stepping stone to the QPR first team for the club’s youngsters.

Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand has long been in favour of the switch to a B team, arguing that the old-style reserve sides gave young players a more thorough grounding than the current academy set-up.

But there is also a desire to keep the club’s academy in place, particularly in light of the forthcoming move to a new training ground in Heston.