Richard Bevan urges FA to stand up to the Premier League if England are to improve

League Managers' chief wants governing body to have more power if England are to improve

It did not really matter in the end that Greg Dyke was detained on business and couldn't make the trip to Ukraine. Outcomes, and the negative responses engendered, were depressingly familiar; poor ball retention, lack of invention, our Premier League all-stars befuddled by the superior movement of supposedly inferior players, a clean sheet the limit of English ambition.

The new Football Association chairman outlined his desire to get to the bottom of the malaise, to fire up the listing flagship that is the national team and conquer all in the 2022 World Cup. His fanciful speech of a week ago outlined areas of concern. He alluded to the counsel taken from key stakeholders in the game to identify areas of concern.

According to one of those organisations whose opinion he sought, England's problem starts with the role occupied by Dyke himself, and the structure over which he presides. The League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan operates out of St George's Park near Burton at the head of a body partly funded by the FA. If England is ever to recover its standing in the game, it is, according to Bevan, the FA itself that must reform, to re-establish control through proper and effective leadership.

"The FA has been decentralised since formation of the Premier League in 1992 and has not been particularly well led," he said. "Administrators have to be relatively quick-moving. The FA has been more of an institution, their decision-making very slow. It will be interesting to see what Greg does.

"In Germany the FA is in control of the game. It tells the Bundesliga what to do. The game should be led by the FA. The success of the England team is the most important thing. Everything will flow from that. But there are conflicts of interest with a league that is the most powerful, saleable in the world. Those conflicts are managed by a strong FA focused on youth development and financial fair play."

Bevan sees the development of St George's Park as an educational hub for the development of coaches as central to Dyke's mission. "The FA in conjunction with all the game's stakeholders, the Premier League, the Football League, the PFA and the LMA must work in conjunction with each other to deliver coaching and management development, because ultimately they are the most important people in the club. Better coaches make better players. Better managers make more stable clubs."

Bevan's vision is already bearing fruit with the launch next month of the Diploma in Football Management, a fully accredited course delivered at St George's Park, aimed at raising the status and profile of club coaches and managers through a rigorous educational programme. "If you want to survive as a football manager you have to be a leader, a manager and a coach. Leadership and management spend [educationally] has been zero. That has been changed.

"The new diploma is effectively a university degree in football management. This place [St George's Park] is not really so much about the development of England teams but of the coaches going through here. This is a university.

"What we are delivering at the LMA is the leadership and management aspect. There is already the Uefa Pro, A and B licence. This is the next stage. The launch of St George's Park, the development of FA learning, the diploma in football management, and the focus on coaching development will force clubs to look harder at their recruitment process."

St George's Park is more than bricks and mortar. It is symbolic of the commitment required. The FA through its learning arm, re-sited from Wembley, has embarked on root and branch change in how coaches are developed. Levels One and Two are being phased out in favour of a new Youth Modules based on something called "appropriate age learning".

English players do not lack technique necessarily. They can all kick a ball. What they lack is a fundamental awareness of space and vision. No amount of industry, and there is plenty of that, can overcome the shortfall in seeing. And until there is joined-up thinking at the top, the systematic overhaul required at grass roots has nil chance of succeeding. Good luck, Greg.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'