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Premier League Greed Home To Roost

Premier League Greed Home To Roost

The old English First Division used to be centre stage for English, Northern Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Irish homegrown talent to ply it's trade and nurture it's skills.

Well, it's not now.

Instead, what homegrown talent (and they have to be way above average players) that can force their way past a myriad of foreign international stars through to English Football's top flight are few and far between. This is to the extent that enormous sums have to be paid out by clubs in order to secure their signatures.

Furthermore, Premier League clubs rarely look to the increasingly distant lower leagues for breaking talent. On another front, what is the point in a local lad signing for the likes of Chelsea at youth level? He'll never make the first team, so why bother?

Many of England's 'superstars' who failed to qualify for Austria and Switzerland are multi-millionaires enjoying the trappings that come in off the back of their club's Murdoch Sky money and in increasing cases, foreign ownership. These lads have it all. I question some of these players desire to play through pain barriers and give it all for their country.

Grass roots motivation and passion are lacking and on the managerial front, there is also a dearth in upcoming coaches with the knowledge and expertise required to take on the national side.

So what can be done to halt the money fuelled juggernaut that has knackered our national sides? Well, getting behind Michel Platini's proposal to introduce foreign player quotas for each club would be a start in England. This would firstly give teams outside 'The Big Four' more of a chance to compete with them. Then the homegrown lads need to be playing week, in week out, not benchwarming. In my view, youth academy and youth set ups should be compulsory and teams compelled to field these lads at the first opportunity. A reduction of satellite TV's monopoly and getting the national game back into homes that can't afford it could only bring the game closer to the home nations' youth potential.

I could go on. It's useless castigating the hapless Steve McClueless this morning. An easy target who I believe honestly did his best with what he had available but his refusal to resign smacks of arrogance. Sports hacks in 'The Street of Shame' are already savaging him.

The same experts will be calling for the installation of Jose Mourinho as England manager this morning. A massive salary would of course, be a pre-requisite. That would solve nothing for the game at grass roots level and it is the exact 'throw money at it' policy that I would fully expect the pisspoor Football Association to follow.

Er, Pearce for England?

Writer:Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday November 22 2007
Time: 7:09AM


Excellent article mate. Just written something similar myself on the Hearts site about international football in general. It's not longer the pinnacle of a player's career as money is what dominates everything now. Sad.
22/11/2007 10:32:00
Right on the money JB. The football pyramid is at risk from globalization and the unprecedented and unmitigated wealth and power associated with it. I'm not reponding simply to that mess last night btw - although the demise of the national team is inevitably one manifestation of this. I was just saying on another site that non-qualifcation hasn't been a given for ingerland, last night reminded me of the classic failures of the '70s - the difference then however was that we were watching the likes of Bell, Channon, Hudson, Currie et al - players with no equivalent in the modern game - and back then we were distinctly aware of the technical gap in terms of continental teams - so this is an historic low. The minnow Croatia completely battered our bloated and bereft 'golden generation'. At least we can finally cast off that crock of **** now. Your points on the old first division I completely endorse - the most succesful sides to leave these shores and lift european cups were in fact anglo-celtic and those guys were sourced from the lower reaches of british and irish football at some point. There will be a huge reaction in the country to this no doubt, and calls for quotas etc and whilst we should get behind calls for a complete review of the game, ultimately the forces out there will prevail i'm afraid. Now we have to endure weeks of media led blood sport and bookmakers frenzy over the next top dollar appointment.
Craig Cain
22/11/2007 10:37:00
The grass roots problem these days is that most youngsters prefer to be sat in front of a computer games console instead of getting out on the park and taking part in sports activities. Teenagers are too busy getting legless at weekends on drugs and drink is it any wonder then that emerging talent is so thin on the ground. The recent results at International level just reflects on how good a coach Eriksson is, getting us to two quater finals with virtually the same set of overpaid prima donnas. This surely is proof enough that he should not be looking at the Defoe, Bents, Owen, and Crouches of this world in January, which I am sure he won't give a moments notice to them.
22/11/2007 10:39:00
Excellently astute comments all round. Just speaking to the French lads in work this morning and they were all referring back to 1994 when they failed to qualify for the WC under Houllier. This precipitated an overhaul of the game. The rest is history yet still there league is a poorly funded if Franco talented one in comparison to the PL circus.
Johnny Baguette
22/11/2007 10:59:00
Take your point JB - but as you imply there isn't the same level of red in tooth and claw greed and vested interest in the French game. Alphie - thats a completely different issue, the debate aint going anywhere unless we confine it to the structural aspects of the modern game - like the expansion and development of the champions league, the ratio of foriegn imports etc.
Craig Cain
22/11/2007 11:13:00
I was just debating with an Irish colleague the point CC made regarding the most successful anglo-celtic sides to conquer all in Europe. The Liverpool and Forest squads are classing examples and we've had a great time naming them! One Welsh lad here has proposed bringing back the Home Nations tournament and including Ireland as part of the equation instead of farcical friendlies. Seconded. Anyone having that?
Johnny Baguette
22/11/2007 11:25:00
Liverpool and Forest yes. Also the successful Leeds side of the '70s (even Chelsea back then) our near neighbours of course, Arsenal etc you'll find that mix had something about it. As for the home internationals - do we really want to see those morons drapped in union flags kicking the ****** out of Dublin again, or the inevitable england scotland feck up?
Craig Cain
22/11/2007 11:41:00
JB Will the introduction of the Home Nations Tournament IMPROVE our performances in world football or just drag it further down.
22/11/2007 11:44:00
Great memories but then a horrible image, CC!! I draw a direct parallel with the booing of the Croatian anthem last night. Maybe panic had already set in amongst the Wembley "faithful." I dunno, there has to be some way of re-energising football across the islands. Just listening to Barwick and co on the press conference gave no reason for any hope. They want turfing out as do the FAI. Maybe Prince William can save the day? There he was sat next to Barwick last night. Exchanging his rugby hat for his football one. You couldn't make it up, etc...
Johnny Baguette
22/11/2007 11:50:00
Alph, I honestly don't know, but it would focus attention on homegrown football and bring more younger players to the fore. It still works for rugby, but the policing issue is another matter!!
Johnny Baguette
22/11/2007 11:51:00
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