Greg Dyke sets England target: Win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

FA chairman has lofty ambitions for the national team - and sets out how they are achievable

Faced with the possibility of England being “unable to compete seriously on the world stage” because of a shortage of players appearing at leading clubs, the Football Association reverted to the default mode of English sport and set up a commission.

It will include representatives of the Premier League, the Football League, the League Managers' Association and the Professional Footballers' Association and is due to report in the New Year. Before then, views will also be invited from all interested parties, including supporters' groups, academics and even journalists.

The Premier League's inclusion, although many regard that body as a primary cause of the problem, is also designed to emphasise that as the new FA chairman Greg Dyke put it, this is no "declaration of war" and "no blame game".

His heavily trailed speech, made at a lunch given by FA sponsors Vauxhall, was titled "Future of the England Team" and made it clear that the future was anything but bright if present trends continued. He quoted the statistic that in the first season of the Premier League, 1992-3, 69 per cent of all players starting matches were qualified for England. Ten years later that figure was down to 38 per cent and last season it was 32 per cent. 

On average there are about 70 English players appearing at that level each weekend, although Roy Hodgson, the England manager, believes the pool realistically available for the senior team is between 30 and 40. Hodgson recently ridiculed the figure of over 200 being available that was quoted by the PL's chief executive Richard Scudamore.

Dyke also mentioned Wigan Athletic having started the FA Cup final with one English player (Callum McManaman), Newcastle United having only one - the uncapped Steven Taylor - in their team on the opening weekend of the season and Sunderland having signed one Englishman among their 14 recruits this summer. "This is not, repeat not, a criticism of those particular clubs, of Premier League clubs in general or even of the League overall, but it does illustrate the growing problem we face," he said.

When Sir Trevor Brooking reported on the England Under-21 team's 6-0 victory against Scotland last month, he praised many of the players, but a few days later only three of the squad of 23 players started a Premier League game.

"The question I want to ask today is a simple one," Dyke said. "Do we let this trend continue or do we actually try to do something about it? Last season's figure for the Premier League was 32% English players starting games. What happens when that declines to 25%, to 20% or even 15%? Do we still ignore the problem and hope it goes away? Or do we take action now? Personally I think the situation is serious, very serious."

The commission will therefore ask three questions: why it has come to this, what can done about it and how  can any proposals be implemented?

As a newcomer to the ranks of the FA and, comparatively, football, the former BBC director-general felt able to offer some criticism of the organisation, which had "not done as well as it should". Indeed, he saw that at first hand 20 years ago when involved as a television executive in the setting up of the Premier League: "The FA didn't use the unique opportunity it had to make stronger demands or seek necessary assurances from the fledgling league. But that's all history now - we are where we are."

History also says he was unwise to set the specific targets of England reaching the semi-finals of the 2020 European Championship (even if they hope to be staging some of the key matches) and to win the Qatar World Cup of 2022, whether or not it is staged in winter (as Dyke hopes) or summer (as the Premier League want).

"Going forward we will certainly give ourselves a much better chance of winning tournaments if we have a bigger talent pool of players to pick from," he added, "which means having more English players who are consistent starters in the Premier League."

If that does not happen, he concluded, "we will be letting down generations of English kids who might otherwise have made it at the top level in football but weren't given the chance" and "we will be letting down the England fans who turn up in their thousands here at Wembley or watch the England team in their millions on the television".

'Brave' speech earns applause within the game

Greg Dyke's vision for the future of English football has been described as "brave" after his speech in London.

The new Football Association chairman's comments were welcomed by the former FA chief executive Mark Palios, who did admit some trepidation about the bullishness of Dyke's line. "It's certainly a brave stance to take at the start of your tenure but, having said that, I'm delighted to hear it," he said.

"While the FA has a lot of things on its agenda the one thing that stirs the nation, and probably the one thing that will judge Greg Dyke's tenure and the FA in the medium term, is whether or not they can turn around what seems to be a pretty grim prospect for England teams going forward.

"I was pleased that he chose that as his topic but, of course, it is easy to talk about and is very hard to deliver."

The former England manager Glenn Hoddle said: "I like what I hear from Greg Dyke – here is a man who is setting targets way beyond his own likely term of office.

"He is not putting himself first, he is putting the England team and the game first."

News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
newsTV star had been reported missing
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone