Scudamore: Premier League not to blame for England woes
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has blamed the Football Association for the England national team's current malaise.The English top flight remains the most lucrative league in world football in terms of television rights, but has attracted criticism for a reliance on expensive foreign imports rather than homegrown players.
England boss Roy Hodgson also recently hit out at the Premier League over the inconvenient scheduling of high-profile fixtures close to his team participating in crucial World Cup qualifiers.
But Scudamore has refuted suggestions that his organisation is culpable for all of English football's ills.
"It frustrates me enormously because it’s so palpably not true," 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, 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.
"The idea an England team is going to be put together that will somehow beat the world is logically and mathematically implausible.
"We can put out a good team, just like Andy Murray can win Wimbledon and Justin Rose can win the US Open.
"Good things do happen but they’re not an automatic right. We’ve not won the World Cup since 1966 - but the Premier League 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."
Scudamore went on to claim that a lack of youth participation in football is the reason England have failed to win a major tournament since hosting the 1966 World Cup.
"We’re putting on a competition that the best players in the world want to come here and play in," he added. "The English players we have got - it’s not my fault the country’s population is only 60 million.
"There are 212 countries playing this game. We are blessed to have 20 of the world’s largest 50 clubs. Within that 20, we have between three and five of the biggest 10. There are only 10 football clubs vying for this top talent.
"(England’s problems) are bigger than us. It’s 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.
"It’s not my fault not as many young kids are kicking a ball around. It’s not my fault the country is not safe enough for seven, eight or nine-year-olds to go down to the park - as I did - on their own and play football until after dark. That’s not the Premier League’s fault."