UK & World News

  • 8 May 2014, 17:04

Premier League To Be 'Half English' By 2022

At least 45% of Premier League players will be English by 2022 under a new target set for the game by FA chairman Greg Dyke.

Mr Dyke said he wants to see at least 90 English players starting for Premier League teams, up from the current average of 66.

Of these, Mr Dyke said he wanted 30 to be playing more than half of the games for top-six clubs, an increase on the current 18.

Mr Dyke said the target can be achieved by implementing a number of "radical and ambitious plans" set out in the report of the FA Commission examining the declining numbers of English players, and recommending measures to reverse the trend.

The key recommendations include:

:: Premier League B Teams entering a new Third Division of the Football League, with promotion no higher than League One.

:: Strategic loan partnerships between Premier League and Football League clubs. Each Premier League team could enter arrangements with two clubs, and loan them up to eight players each.

:: An increase in the number of homegrown players required in 25-man Premier League squads, up from eight to 13 by 2020.

:: Tighter work-permit restrictions for non-EU players so only "truly exceptional players of the highest calibre" get work permits.

In addition, only two could play for each Premier League club, a move that would drastically affects clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Commission proposals are already controversial with some opposition from the professional leagues, but Mr Dyke said they were crucial to arrest the decline in English players impacting on the national team.

He said: "The decline is a problem in countries right across Europe but a significantly bigger problem in England than anywhere else, and if the trend continues we fear for the future of the English team.

"If this cannot be reversed a future England manager will have fewer and fewer top level English players to choose from."

"This is a radical and ambitious plan to give English boys the best chance of achieving their potential," said Mr Dyke.

"The tanker that is English football needs turning.

"It is in the public interest for there to be a successful England team, and it is our belief that the benefits of national team success would be felt across the whole game."

The commission findings were welcomed by England manager Roy Hodgson.

He said: "We are much wiser now than when this process began, and now have a strong body of work that will stop us wondering how we compare to other countries.

"My undoubted focus has been on qualifying and preparing my England squad for the World Cup in Brazil. But we all have a responsibility when called to answer the question, how can we provide a better platform for the young England players of the future."

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