Greg Dyke’s FA Commission was a success: it has re-framed the debate about player development

Since the establishment of the Premier League, the declining number of English players playing top flight football has been the subject of great debate. It is widely recognised that it is difficult for talented young English footballers to break into the Premier League, and that it is difficult for the national team to excel when it is selecting from a relatively small group of elite players. The FA Commission assigned with the task of identifying the causes of this problem and its potential solutions released its findings earlier this month. The report does an excellent job of illustrating an important barrier to player progression: a lack of competitive football between the ages of 18 and 21. By doing so it has re-framed the debate about player development. This is a meaningful achievement.

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