Dyke fails to offer an ‘acceptable’ solution

UNDER FIRE: FA Chairman Greg Dyke during a press conference to present the findings from The FA Chairman’s England Commission at Wembley Stadium

UNDER FIRE: FA Chairman Greg Dyke during a press conference to present the findings from The FA Chairman’s England Commission at Wembley Stadium

First published in Sport

THE Football League has suggested Football Association chairman Greg Dyke’s England Commission report lacks “a solution that is acceptable at the current time”.

Dyke yesterday unveiled a raft of proposals aimed at boosting the number of English players at the top of club football.

The most controversial is the introduction of Premier League B teams in a new ‘League Three’.

Deep reservations about that plan have already been expressed by various clubs both at the top and bottom of the professional game.

And Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said in a statement on Thursday: “It is our view that the objective of increasing the number of quality English players is laudable and while the report may not contain a solution that is acceptable at the current time, we should continue to engage with the commission to establish whether there is a solution that meets its stated objective but does not leave the Football League carrying a disproportionate or unreasonable burden.”

Dyke’s proposals also feature an overhaul of the work permit system and a reduction in the number of non home-grown players in squads.

He has set a target of increasing the number of English players in the Premier League from 32 per cent to 45 per cent by 2022.

Dyke also announced a proposal for the development of ‘’strategic loan partnerships’’ between clubs.

England manager Roy Hodgson said: ‘’I welcome the proposals and I know that the chairman – and indeed everyone who is passionate about English football – would strongly advocate the findings and recommendations.

’’ Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport, Clive Efford, said: ‘’This report focuses the majority of its attention at elite player development – but without improving facilities and the quality of coaching at the grass roots throughout our communities this will all come to nothing.’’ Supporters Direct (SD), a group that helps fans set up democratic cooperatives to gain influence in the running and ownership of clubs, also suggested there is a problem in terms of coaching.

SD said that needs focusing on rather than the B team concept – which it believes will “serve to reinforce the system of player development that currently results in the stockpiling of talent” – and called for broader distribution of wealth in the game.

Former England striker Gary Lineker also feels the key is coaching.

Lineker wrote on Twitter: “I’ve now read the full FA report.

Some important points in there, that have been ignored because of this B team league nonsense.

“We need to focus on points surrounding the coaching and cultural development of young players and lack of funds for coaches, facilities etc.

“You’ll win nothing without kids, being given the best coaching, decent playing surfaces and protection from clueless parents.”

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