By Tony Attwood
The World Cup is wonderful. OK it is run by Fifa one of the most appalling groups of gangsters and crooks operating on a worldwide basis. But that aside, the World Cup is wonderful. OK the English team is run by the FA, an organisation that has consistently refused to say where the money that was gathered for the Grenfell Tower families at the Community Shield last year actually went, and an organisation which is funded by the UK taxpayers. An organisation which even Parliament voted that they had no confidence in. But hey, who cares about that? The World Cup is wonderful.
But when it is all over, what will happen? Will the FA bend the ear of the Premier League to start plotting a more restrictive regime for clubs and players?
At the moment PL teams can only have 17 non-home-grown players in their 25 man squad. That funny invention of “home grown” was created because under EU laws the FA could not impose an “Englishmen only” Premier League. But in a short while the UK will not be part of the EU so they will be able to make all sorts of new rules.
But is there any need?
At the moment all 23 of England’s 23 players in the World Cup play for English clubs. The only nation that comes near to that is Russia with 21. After that it is Saudi Arabia with 20. Spain have a more balanced approach with 19 of their players playing at home and Germany has 15. And yes of course Germany crashed out (they were not beaten we must remember, they crashed out.) But that number of 15 is where it often is for Germany in the World Cups. Just as England’s number is normally 23 or very close to that.
In fact the number of players one has playing at home is fairly irrelevant. France who have done quite well of late have nine, Brazil has three and they often do quite well.
In fact if the issue of where you play your football were to be important, England would win the world cup. And maybe they will. But if they do it will not be because of this factor – because it has always been like this in the past and we’ve not won the thing since we were allowed to play every single game at Wembley.
What is wrong, and what Untold has been saying is wrong for the past 10 years – the number of fully qualified coaches and the amount of up to standard training facilities. We have far fewer coaches per thousand players than other major footballing country and far fewer suitable training areas suitable for youngsters.
According to figures from the Daily Telegraph only one in three grassroots pitches was deemed to be of “adequate” quality last season and, also last season, one in six matches was called off due to pitch quality. And believe me if you have ever helped out with football for the under 16s, to be called off because a pitch is too poor means that pitch has to be pretty awful. (“Down the wings is ok, it’s only through the middle it is a bit dodgy, and the kids really want to play” is a response I have heard to a totally unplayable surface).
So every few years the broadcasters pay more and more to broadcast football and around £8,000,000,000 comes into the game, and we don’t have anything like the amount of pitches needed to train the kiddies. And whose fault is that? Primarily the FA and the Premier League. As for the qualified coaches that is totally and utterly down to the FA. They simply charge far too much for their training courses and keep the price high by having a limited number. But they have a monopoly in training courses so that’s that.
The latest wheeze of course is to sell Wembley and use the money to fund youth football. But you’d be a brave person to put your own money on a punt that this will happen, and not that a very very sizeable chunk goes to bidding for the World Cup again (2 votes last time remember), and paying off their debts.
There is movement of course. The research done by Untold in the number of fully trained coaches per 1000 players is now regularly quoted although without noting the source. (The Telegraph recently did it again, with “only 9,548 B-licence standard coaches, compared to 37,742 in Spain.” When you do it on the number per 1000 players it is worse).
So progress with grass roots football? None at all despite the PL being the richest league in the world.
Will things get better by selling Wembley? For the FA yes. For the rest of football? Well, when you think that the money has to go through the FA’s hands first… maybe not.
On 30 July 2015 we published the story about how Sport England was removing its investment from the FA because of the abuse of the use of funds by the FA. No one followed up on that story.
You might also enjoy “England still fixated on the evil influence of Johnny Foreigner.”
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