In a recent Quickplay Sport blog we discussed the proposals put forward by Greg Dyke’s England Commission. The Commission highlighted that 'much more work needs to be done' concerning 'coaching and grassroots facilities'

Dyke also said that “we want to develop ways of giving more English players the best chance of achieving their potential by enabling them to play football at the very highest level. We believe that this is not only in the best interests of the national team and the young English players themselves, but also in the interests of the professional football clubs”.

In this article we look at the reactions of some big names to these ideas.

Five former England managers lined up squarely behind Dyke and co-signed a letter in April backing his proposed reforms. Michel Platini is keen too, but perhaps unsurprisingly Richard Scudamore of the Premier League is more reticent.

Sven-Goran ErikssonSven-Goran Eriksson, Glen Hoddle, Kevin Keegan, Steve McClaren and Graham Taylor called for the English football community to unite in support of the Commission and wanted implementation to come as soon as possible.

In a letter to the FA, the ‘Famous Five’ England managers wrote that it was crucial to get Dyke’s proposals up and running “failure to do so risks England falling further behind the leading football nations and it will only make it harder to end the long wait to win the World Cup” they wrote.

Stressing that the trend of English players accounting for just 32 per cent of playing time in the Premier League “cannot continue” they applauded Dyke’s vision.

The two key parts of the proposals which Eriksson, Hoddle, Keegan, McClaren and Taylor were particularly in favour of were an increase in the minimum number of homegrown players from 8 to 12 and making sure ‘homegrown’ refers to a player who has trained in England for three years before the age of 18 rather than the current limit of 21.

The Commission proposed that the minimum number limit be changed over four years starting with the 2016-17 season with the direct aim of boosting the quality of the England team over that period.

However Premier League supremo Richard Scuadmore, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph urged Dyke and the FA to follow the example of that well-known football powerhouse Costa Rica instead of blaming foreign players.

Costa Rica’s unexpected success at the last World Cup came from a squad of mostly unknown, homegrown players. “Why shouldn’t the England team come from the top 12 teams in the Championship and the bottom 10 teams of the Premier League, if they’re English and they’re good enough?” Scudamore said. “Costa Rica played very well in the World Cup and where are they playing their league football? “We get hung up about they can’t possibly be good enough unless they’re playing for Chelsea or Manchester United. Of course they can be good enough.”

UEFA president Michel Platini however is having none of that. He is another big fan of Dyke’s ideas and made them part of his meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker last week. A statement from the governing body read: “The UEFA President explained that the development of new homegrown talents is one of the core activities of football clubs and that, accordingly, policies designed to encourage the local training and education of athletes contribute to promoting the wider interests of football in Europe.”

Though UEFA’s communications chief Pedro Pinto, was more ebullient about Platini’s views;

“The UEFA president is totally aligned with the chairman of the English FA, Greg Dyke, on the issue of homegrown players. We will look at ways in which we can increase the number of homegrown players in our competitions considering we can do nothing to impose restrictions on nationalities.”

So other than Richard Scudamore, who as ever, seems to be worried about scaring away expensive foreign talent, it seems that those who have spoken out on Greg Dyke’s ideas are in favour of change.

At Quickplay Sport we’re also in Greg’s corner and want to see the proposals come into force and quickly. But we also want more positive action on grassroots football to broaden that base of homegrown players.