Hodgson: England still important
England boss Roy Hodgson insists the national team should be centre stage because it is capable of attracting support like nothing else.
Speaking at an exclusive Club Wembley members' event, Hodgson said: "It would be lovely to think one day we could all get together and say 'England is important'.
"You hear people trying to say it's only the Premier League and Champions League that counts and people don't care about international football, but something like 24 or 25million watched our game against Italy.
"If you want to see the English desire to see a national team do well, you only have to go to the Olympics.
"I know it's Great Britain but you look at any event, you had 20,000 turning up to watch a handball game."
Hodgson's problem is an age-old one; the power in football, not just in England but all major European nations, belongs with the clubs.
The idea he could prepare for a major tournament in the same way as Sir Clive Woodward did before the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia - gathering all his England players together for a training session every Monday throughout the season - can be dismissed as a complete non-starter.
Even the relatively innocuous desire for his international squad to be in a position to push themselves through a proper training session when they meet up on the Monday ahead of a Friday game is fraught with difficulty.
Any call for the major Premier League clubs to be excused Sunday duty would meet with the instant argument that some have to play on that day due to Europa League commitments on Thursday, whether TV wanted to screen their weekend fixtures or not.
"We are not bemoaning the Premier League," Hodgson added.
"But it would be nice if, when we're playing on Friday, the top teams played on Saturday and not Sunday. Then on Monday we could do a bit of work and on Tuesday do some serious work.
"But every time the top clubs have played on Sunday."
Meanwhile, the FA hope that the St George's Park complex in Burton will revolutionise coaching standards in England, which in turn will increase the ability of young players throughout their development.
Then, the trend of Premier League clubs recruiting such a high volume of overseas players might eventually be reversed.
Hodgson added: "I am hoping the league retains its quota of at least one-third English players and doesn't go below that.
"Juventus are champions of Italy and in resurgence. They had seven Italians in the team that drew with Chelsea last night.
"It would be nice if we ever had a situation where the top teams had seven (English) players in their squad."