FA Commission: Greg Dyke warns of bleak future if proposals fail

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Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has warned failure to adopt his plans to improve English football could lead to a bleak future for homegrown talent.

Dyke’s proposals quickly created deep divisions within the game on Thursday.

“The question I ask the people who don’t buy into this is, what do you want to do?” Dyke told BBC Sport.

“The analysis in this document is pretty damning of the future for English football and English boys. It’s not enough to say we will do nothing.”

Analysis

David Bond BBC sports editor

“The Premier League is the richest in the world and it is embarrassing that these resources are not being used to help England close the gap on other European nations such as Spain, Germany and France.

“Greg Dyke knows this. He also knows that the minute England exit the World Cup in Brazil, then the spotlight will turn on him and the FA.”

At the heart of the four-point plan is the creation of a new tier within the Football League to accommodate Premier League B teams.

There is also a call for a ban on non-European Union players outside of the top-flight, the development of “strategic loan partnerships” between clubs, as well as a reduction in non-homegrown players in Premier League squads.

According to the review, only 32% of starters qualified to play for England in the 2012-13 Premier League season, compared to 69% 20 years ago.

The commission’s proposals set an “ambitious but realistic” target of increasing the number of English players in the Premier League to 45% by 2022.

“If we don’t arrest the decline you feel quite bleak about the future of English football,” said Dyke.

“You’ll have very a good league, but it’s not about English football.”

England manager Roy Hodgson welcomed the proposals, but critics such as Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony believes the B team plan is unworkable, while Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey says the report “may not contain a solution that is acceptable at the current time”.

For and against the proposal

England manager Roy Hodgson: “We are much wiser than when this process began and now have a strong body of work that will stop us wondering how we compare to other countries.”

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin: “The wealth and riches of Premier League clubs will mean that money will be put into their B teams and in no time you will find the current League One populated by only B teams. It will destroy the whole fabric of the league structure.”

Dyke added: “You can’t be sure you can deliver this. They’re difficult proposals and you can’t possibly be sure people are going to buy into them. But what else are you going to buy into?”

The FA commission was made up of Dyke, Hodgson, former England managers Glenn Hoddle and Howard Wilkinson, plus ex-England internationals Rio Ferdinand and Danny Mills.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke, Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Ritchie Humphreys, FA vice-chairman Roger Burden and Crewe Alexandra’s director of football Dario Gradi were also part of the 10-man commission.

It sought contributions from more than 650 people across all levels of the sport in England and abroad.

Further proposals to improve the grassroots game in England will follow in the autumn. No firm date has been given for a final decision.

 

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