EPL chief blames FA for England failures

LONDON. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has rejected accusations his organisation are to blame for England’s failures at major tournaments and questioned the role of the English Football Association and government.
England's continual failure can't be blamed on the Premier League, says Scudamore. Net photo.
England's continual failure can't be blamed on the Premier League, says Scudamore. Net photo.

LONDON. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has rejected accusations his organisation are to blame for England’s failures at major tournaments and questioned the role of the English Football Association and government.

The Premier League has long been blamed for England’s failure to add to their one World Cup win in 1966, with many pundits and former players bothered by the lack of Englishmen playing for the top clubs in the division.

England manager Roy Hodgson has also been left unhappy by two Premier League fixture changes just before England face Moldova and Ukraine in two important World Cup qualifiers in September.

The matches, Liverpool v Manchester United and Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, have been moved back a day from August31 to September1 for live television coverage and will be played just five days before England play Moldova at Wembley.

Speaking at the Premier League Asian Trophy in Hong Kong, and quoted in Monday’s British newspapers, Scudamore offered a sharp reply when asked if he was upset by the widely held view that the Premier League is culpable for England’s failure.

“It frustrates me enormously because it is so palpably not true. We are putting on a competition that the best players in the world want to come here and play in,” he said.

“The whole thing seems to me that if England don’t win something it is someone else’s fault. I have never, in my 15 years with the Premier League, never said the Premier League’s success, or lack of, is someone else’s fault. You have to make it yourself.

“Let’s run the reverse argument. Where does that leave the people at the FA in terms of their accountability? It can’t be our fault.

“It is bigger than us. It is not the Premier League who ripped up the playing fields. It is not the Premier League that didn’t put the education into schools that the government should have done. That is not the Premier League’s fault.

“Clearly, we have a job to do. We have not won the World Cup since 1966. We didn’t start until 1992. What happened between 1966 and 1992? Whose fault was that? The whole thing is immensely frustrating. It cannot be our fault on any level.”

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