Much can be said about the way the FA has progressed in recent years. 23 years ago, the Premier League became a reality, it is now the most popular league. Two decades years ago, hooliganism was a genuine social concern, it is now subdued to the level of near (comparative) silence.
Ten years ago, the Premier League was dominated by three clubs, now that number has risen to six. Two years ago, the highest transfer fee was paid for a player anywhere, again it was from the PL.
Praise where praise is due, the English FA must be given credit for bringing serious investment and attention to the richest league in the world. Yet therein lies the problem, for all its progress, the FA always seems to fall short on which direction it is actually heading towards.
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Yes, it has engineered and constructed a world renowned league, yet why, when it is so good, is no England team (besides the women) doing well at international level?
The question must be asked, why is the English FA not doing more to engage home grown players? Italy, Spain, Germany, all recent world champions have successful teams at almost every conceivable level, yet England seem to be lightyears behind in terms of quality.
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Whilst the PL has certainly entertained, thrilled and hypnotised global audiences, it can be argued that the attraction is not the quality of its football, nor its star players; but the money the league attracts.
Admittedly, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal (all with billionaire owners) would likely disagree, but the evidence is clear. The FA prioritise wealth over health; investment from anywhere to boost the game, which is great as this proves the FA is inclusive and investing in the future.
But why are the FA allowing so many owners to spend so much money outside of Britain on average players rather than invest in their academies, and then react with shock when fewer and fewer players come through for the national sides?
The answer is simple: the FA is on a mission to please everyone. Yes, everyone. They wish to please the working man, families, investors, politicians, celebrities, authorities. But future stars of the game are finding it ever more difficult to participate, even at grass roots level. Are they not important?
The 'new' man in charge, Greg Dyke, needs to answer these questions thoroughly and quickly, before it's too late.
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