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Future of Successful English Footballers Appears Dire

football academy Future of Successful English Footballers Appears DireIn 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.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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6 Responses to Future of Successful English Footballers Appears Dire

  1. Anonymous says:

    Send the youngsters to MLS for development! lol

  2. The Scout says:


    I read this series of articles as well and I’m glad you posted them here. Excellent stuff!

  3. Kartik says:

    Very good article. As much as I criticize MLS, the league has proven to be a good development league for many of our youngsters. Nonetheless, I prefer the path of Kenny Cooper…..go to England to develop and then come back at 22 or 23 to play since you are guarenteed of being in the first team.

  4. Anonymous says:

    fantastic find, gaffer. very informative.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Gaffer, check this one: about the global popularity of the Premier League, from the Independent:

  6. Anonymous says:

    The globalization of the Premiership (viewship, talent pool, etc.) and its impact on domestic talent development is very similar to the issues facing the NBA. These leagues mirror each other in a number of ways….

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