In another example of excellent investigative journalism from The Times newspaper, their chief sports reporter Owen Slot recently wrote a series of articles about the state of the football academy system in England.While some of may not care about academies, the ramifications of the current state of them will have a profound impact on the future success of the England national team, and of the livelihood of many Premiership teams who rely on promoting youth talent through their ranks.The series of articles brings up a host of fascinating issues that are affecting the game, and what changes are necessary.Some of the interesting points raised in the article are:
- There’s such a global market for players now that it’s easier for Premiership managers to buy the “finished article” instead of promoting youth players
- The Premiership chairmen and chief executives have decided that rather than plough money into academy systems, it needs to go to the transfer market instead
- Looking at the 220 players starting in the Premiership on an average weekend, only 25-30 Englishmen aged 23 or less are playing, and
- Many academies are now focused on developing big, physically strong players (i.e. athletes) rather than technically gifted ones.
It’s obvious that all the Premiership cares about is its own greed and success instead of improving the chances of the England national team.Read the following articles from The Times:Introduction:Academies Face Closure As Clubs Seek Quicker FixPart One:The Next Rooney or Richards? ‘The Pool Is Shrinking Before Our Very Eyes’Part Two:Prospectors of Young English Talent Yearning to Establish A Golden AgePart Three:Big Not Always Beautiful In Obsession With Today Rather Than TomorrowIf you’re a fan of football, especially the Premiership, the above articles are required reading.