Greg Dyke sets England 2022 World Cup target

 

New Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says England should aim to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and win the World Cup in 2022.

But in a wide-ranging speech,  Dyke warned England may not be able to compete seriously on the world stage without changes in the domestic game.

"English football is a tanker that needs turning," he said.

Dyke will set up an FA commission to ask key questions on how England can change its long-term prospects.

Key points of Dyke's speech

  • Sets target to reach the semi-finals at Euro 2020 and win the World Cup in 2022.
  • Describes English game as a "tanker which needs turning" citing the amount of foreign players limiting chances for English players.
  • Wants more English players who are consistent starters in the Premier League
  • Aims to set up an FA Commission asking why so few players registered for England play in the Premier League with help from Premier League, Football League, the LMA and PFA
  • Dyke also said he was open to: exploration of a quota system for foreign players; examining the current work permit system; examining the loan system and evaluating the pros and cons of a mid-season break.

The commission will ask why England are in this situation, what could be done and how any changes can be implemented.

In a lengthy speech, Dyke laid out his vision to address what he called the "frightening trend" of the reduction in the number of English players in the Premier League.

Yet amid a backdrop of foreign influence in the top division, with many believing it is having an adverse effect on England teams, he stated: "The two targets I have for the England team are - one, to at least reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and two, win the World Cup in 2022."

England have not gone beyond a World Cup quarter-final since they reached the last four in 1990 and have only won it once, in 1966. Their best performances in the European Championship came when they reached the semi-finals in 1968 and 1996.

The 2020 European Championship is set to be held across Europe, with the FA having submitted Wembley as one of the potential venues.

However, the 2022 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar, with Dyke saying temperatures of 50C will make it "impossible" to hold the tournament there in summer.

Dyke said: "No doubt some will say these targets will burden the players with more pressure. I don't see it in that way. Top players must be able to handle pressure if they want to be winners. We want to be winners."

Last season, the number of English under-21 players competing in the Premier League dropped to its lowest level. In the summer, the England Under-21 side crashed out of the European Championship in Israel without winning a point.

In the 1992-93 season the figure for English players in the starting line-ups of Premier League clubs was 69%. Ten years later that figure was down to 38%. Last season, another 10 years on, the same figure was down to 32%.

Greg Dyke FA chairman

Dyke accepted that the FA "had not done as well as we should" in building a successful England team over the years.

And he added: "If the best of our emerging young players can't get a game here, then we have a serious problem."

He warned the England set-up had been weakened rather than strengthened after 20 years of the Premier League but said his speech was "not designed to start a blame game".

During the summer transfer window, there were 137 Premier League signings but only 25 (or 18.2%) of those were English.

Financial analysts Deloitte said £60m of the gross £630m summer spending was on English players. This is just under 10%.

"We want to work hand in hand with the [Premier] League," added Dyke, who started in his FA role on 13 July.

And he said the chairmen of the Premier League, Football League, Professional Footballers' Association and League Managers' Association have been invited to join his newly-formed commission to start this month, with Dyke urging all in the game to come forward to give evidence.

He also highlighted that Premier League clubs had "made a huge investment in academies but so far the game had not seen a huge return on that investment".

The FA chairman added there were difficulties in getting clubs to release players to join up with England squads at all levels.