Dyke scores key victory as top clubs join FA’s crusade

Frank Dalleres
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FOOTBALL Association chairman Greg Dyke achieved the first victory on his mission to address England’s failings when the Premier League yesterday agreed to join his task force.

Dyke expects the commission to meet for the first time before the end of the month, as set out in his speech last week, with a view to reporting conclusions in early 2014.

The Football League and players’ union the PFA were already on board, but the Premier League – considered the most powerful body in the English game – was considered the key ally for Dyke to secure.

Despite suggestions of misgivings within the organisation about the lack of details, top-flight chairmen and the Premier League’s board agreed in principle to co-operate on the debate about how to grow England’s talent pool.

“I am very keen that the commission work with everyone in football and particularly the Premier League, both as an organisation and its individual member clubs. Clearly they have a lot to contribute,” said Dyke.

“I am pleased that the Premier League clubs, board and executive all want to contribute to the commission I am setting up. There is a great deal of knowledge there and I am sure we will be able to find some very concrete ways of improving the pool of talent available to England managers.”

Premier League backing came after Dyke attended one of the organisation’s regular meetings in London yesterday, at which he is said to have spoken informally at length with club chairmen.

Dyke is understood to have stressed that the commission is to have a wide-ranging scope and will not just be about youth development at top-flight clubs, with FA coaching and work permits also up for debate.

The former BBC director general will be aware the Premier League is strongly against abandoning its own Elite Player Performance Plan, which only took effect last year after a lengthy consultation. Whether the organisation agree on proposals to increase the number of English players in the top flight remains to be seen.

It is expected that Dyke will invite other high-profile individuals, including former players and representatives of the media, to join the commission.