Premier League Partly to Blame for England's Demise

If you’re like me and when I consider the better writers from The Guardian, many of the names that first pop into my head are people such as Kevin McCarra, Paul Doyle, Barry Glendenning and Sid Lowe — all members of the Football Weekly brat pack.

But one name that is often overlooked is one of the pearls at The Guardian, David Conn.

In another example of his excellent writing, David yesterday published a piece entitled The Premiership Feasts While England Flounder, which goes back in time to remember the reasons why the Premier League said it wanted to form as a breakaway group from the Football League. We all know the real reasons (i.e. greed), but the Premiership said it would benefit England, the national team. It’s a revealing article, so be sure to read it.

I have to thank David for introducing me to Peter Lupson’s book, Thank God For Football. After learning about the book by reading David’s article, I then contacted Mr. Lupson for his interview on the EPL Talk Podcast.

6 thoughts on “Premier League Partly to Blame for England's Demise”

  1. You are right about David Conn. His book “The Beautiful Game?” is essential reading for anyone interested in the fate of football since the 1980s.

  2. Interesting article about the relationship between England and the EPL.

    I have a few remarks. Feel free to discuss as I’m sure there will be disagreement:

    Firstly, I think the article’s premise is overstated.

    Italy/Serie A is a prime example in several respects.

    For the longest time, Serie A was THE league for top international talent and though it still gets a fair share of it, it’s not as monopolistic as it used to be. Most/many of the top players from national sides from all over the world, including England, played there…and yet Italy always had a strong national team.

    Another thing is that Italy’s revenue sharing is terrible and totally biased towards the elite (always has been)…in fact they are trying emulate some of the EPL’s ideas to even things out…so that’s not really a good excuse either.

    When you look back, England has done well in competitions compared to most others. PK’s were there enemy at more than one world cup…in fact had it not been for a brilliant Platt volley vs. Belgium at the end of extra time in ’90, PK’s may have ended their campaign before it started. ’98 was similar problem. They were unlucky to lose vs. ARG on PK’s. In ’06, for all their woes, PK’s did them in again. At the Euro level, they’ve done well as well.

    For england, there is solace in looking at Spain who never reach potential despite have the talent to win it all every year.

    I find truth in Steve Cohen’s words when he says the problem is two-fold:

    Lack of good youth academies for the 11-13 years olds is one problem but mostly it’s the lack of imagination in coaching at the national team level. Steve is breathlessly critical of McClaren’s (and Ericksson’s) choices of line-ups and subs which are very status quo, at times senseless and lack the creativity to make serious changes.

    How can so many of England’s stars be so good in the EPL and then so inept for England?? I fault coaching and management.

  3. I don’t blame the Premier League, because I don’t think that a dearth of English talent is the major issue. The 2006 squad obviously had some talent to be a few PKs away from the Semifinals despite playing woefully.

    1. They have to hire a decent manager.

    2. They need to actually take the U-21s seriously. Hire a full time coach. It would be far more beneficial for Micah Richards to be getting international matches under his belt rather than being thrust immediately to set on the bench of the senior team.

    3. Deregulate the academy system. Big Clubs would place far more emphasis on it if they were allowed to scout nationwide and bring in the best talent, rather than being maligned to whatever they can scrounge up within 90 miles.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the article. It’s kind of a coincidence as I am currently studying the progression of the EPL from its roots to current day, and how it’s become a secular religion.


  5. The current England manager is not good enough and never will be. Unfortunately there are not enough good English managers in the EPL, when was the last time an English manager won the EPL?

    The FA need to hire someone who is good enough.

  6. During the last ESPN broadcast of the USA game, the announcers mentioned that one of the problems with playing in England is that you are doing just that. The teams have so many games in so many different competitions that you have no time for training or to rest between matches. So the palyers from the big clubs which make up the England team in great part maybe looking at the National team as a “rest spot” for them. They maybe just playing too much. I think I’ll do a forum post on it.

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