Gary Lineker: Without Premier League co-operation, Greg Dyke's vision will be 'pie in the sky'
The former England striker says the league must work with the FA
Thursday 05 September 2013
Former England striker Gary Lineker admits Greg Dyke's vision to improve the national team will be “pie in the sky” unless the Football Association and Premier League unite to tackle the issues in the domestic game.
FA chairman Dyke delivered a keynote address on Wednesday, describing the English game as "a tanker which needs turning" and setting an ambitious target for England's senior team to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
To get there, Dyke wants to work with the Premier League to increase the proportion of England-qualified players featuring in the top flight on a weekly basis, and Match of the Day presenter Lineker believes it is vital for the Premier League to buy into Dyke's vision for the plan to succeed.
Lineker wrote on Twitter: "Finally read Greg Dyke's speech. Some realism as to issues, some fantasy as to targets. Unless PL & FA unite, it's all pie in the sky.
"Things are improving, small sided games and pitches, better coaching, but will take time and patience. There is NO quick fix!
Dyke conducted a round of media interviews on Thursday morning following up on his speech, and believes the Premier League understands the need for change without any pressure being exerted upon it.
Dyke, who took over as FA chairman in June, said on talkSPORT: "I'm not sure I need coercive powers. I think the Premier League understands it is in everybody's interest to have a successful England team.
"I have no doubt some of the remedies might be tough for the Premier League and you might not be able to implement them."
Changes could include a quota on foreign players, a reform of the loan system and also addressing the thorny issue of a mid-season break.
A mid-season break is commonplace on the continent, but it has never been introduced into English football despite lobbying from key figures.
Former England manager Fabio Capello said the lack of a winter break was one of the main reasons behind England's failure to win a major tournament since 1966.
"What I hope will come out of (the commission) are some positive proposals," added Dyke.
"(Other national associations) appear to have acted in a much tougher way (in pushing through reform). I think people know we have a problem. Hopefully we can do it without using the big stick."
Dyke also wants the commission, which he expects to deliver its findings in the new year, to look outside the professional game and also outside the sport for answers to the question of the falling number of English players in the Premier League.
"There's something that says 'if you haven't played the game you don't know', but I don't buy that.
"I think you learn from wherever you can. We should learn from what is happening in football in other countries and we should learn from other sports."
Dyke went on to reject allegations of hypocrisy from his time as a Manchester United director between 1997 and 1999 and also, as chairman of Brentford, his appointment of former Germany international Uwe Rosler as manager.
In an interview on Sky Sports News, Dyke said: "When I was a director of Manchester United I was lucky, I was there during that wonderful period when virtually half the youth team came and played in the first team.
"Manchester United is one of the clubs that has developed young English players over many years.
"In terms of Brentford, Uwe Rossler played a long time. I'm not against foreign managers. If you've got a league which is largely foreign owned, largely foreign managed and mainly foreign players you've got an issue for English football."
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