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Rediff.com  » Sports » 5 managers, 1 warning: Home-grown players need more chances to shine

5 managers, 1 warning: Home-grown players need more chances to shine

Last updated on: April 02, 2015 16:29 IST

Gary Neville of England

Gary Neville of England laughs with players including Phil Jones, left, Wayne Rooney, second left, and Gary Cahill during an England team stadium visit. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

England's prospects of ever winning another World Cup will suffer unless reforms are introduced to give home-grown players more chances to shine, five former England managers have warned.

Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Graham Taylor and Steve McClaren signed a joint letter to FA chairman Greg Dyke backing his proposals for change, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday.

In the letter, they called for swift implementation of measures to ensure English players are given more match exposure at top clubs to boost England's chances of repeating the country's lone 1966 World Cup success.

"Failure to do so risks England falling further behind the leading football nations and will only make it harder to end the long wait to win the World Cup," they said.

The letter, which the newspaper said was sent to Dyke on Wednesday, said English players accounted for a mere 32 per cent of playing time in the Premier League last year compared with almost 70 per cent two decades previously.

"The trend cannot continue," they said.

"There are many reasons why England has failed to win any major honours since 1966 and each of us bears a portion of that responsibility.

"However... the pool of English talent playing at the very top level is shrinking and it's an undeniable fact that this is a clear disadvantage for any England manager," added the managers.

Dyke has proposed changes to the home grown player rule in English football to help more "top quality" English players break through.

He wants a reduction in the maximum number of non-home grown players permitted in a club's first team squad of 25 to be reduced from 17 to 13, phased over four years from 2016.

"In 2014, just 23 English players were playing Champions League football. That compares with 78 Spanish players, 55 from Germany and even 51 from Brazil -- and the numbers will only get worse," he said in an FA statement last month.

"If we want to maintain a national side capable of competing against the world's best, we need change."

Dyke set up the England Commission in 2013 to look at ways of improving the chances of young English talent succeeding at the highest levels of the game.

The Commission specifically identified a lack of quality coaching and opportunities for home grown players to play competitive first team football between the ages of 18 and 21.