In September 2013, the FA Chairman's Commission was established. The aim of the Commission created by Chairman Greg Dyke was to 'improve England teams’ success at international level.'
SD submitted to that Commission in December 2013. This response remains our position on the matter.
It is our settled view that:
- The introduction of Feeder Clubs or B-teams will serve to reinforce the system of player development that currently results in the stockpiling of talent.
- In line with many other colleagues in football, we also believe that the Strategic Loan Partnerships appear to be feeder clubs by the back door, and as such are equally unacceptable.
- In line with the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee review reporting in 2011 & in 2013 (and which remains largely undelivered, despite the threat of government intervention if the recommendations were not acted upon within a year of the 2013 report), we believe that The FA needs to take the lead on this issue as it is a whole-game concern. Player development is central to the success of the English game in the same way as the regulation of football clubs in the financial, governance and ownership sense.
- We have a depth in our professional football system that should mean we have the deepest talent pool coming through but it isn’t happening. That is not because we don’t have feeder clubs for the top clubs, it’s because the coaching and infrastructure is not right. This can only be changed with a strategic game-wide approach, overseen by the game’s governing body.
- Distribution of talent generally follows the distribution of money. In the English game, the vast majority of the game’s financial resources are vested in a small group of elite clubs who can afford to develop their talent. The game should be looking at ways to redistribute those monies more equitably so that there is the broadest possible base to access and nurture talent for the England teams.