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Thursday 22 February 2018

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore not worried by England's Euro 2016 show

Richard Scudamore has confidence in the future of the England national team
Richard Scudamore has confidence in the future of the England national team

Richard Scudamore has revealed the Premier League saw "nothing" from Euro 2016 to provide cause for concern over the development of English players.

The organisation reviewed England's performances and, despite the 2-1 defeat by Iceland being considered among the worst in their history, remains confident in the players' ability.

Sam Allardyce has been appointed as England's new manager, and on Monday he spoke of his belief the squad had been good enough to win Euro 2016.

The Premier League's verdict is similarly positive, and executive chairman Scudamore insisted they saw no need to implement change to further strengthen the national team's chances.

"We did our own post-Euros discussion, and there is nothing we saw that put us off the journey," said the 56-year-old.

"In other words, we know we're producing good players, we saw nothing that said 'Oh, crikes'.

"Whereas, if you go back to England-Croatia (a 3-2 home defeat in 2007 that cost England qualification for Euro 2008), Steve McClaren and the umbrella, we were so angry we went and got Ged (Roddy, the Premier League's director of football development).

"We said, 'We have to change, we have to change', but we saw nothing in the Euros, either from other teams or from ourselves, quite frankly, that said we have to change the journey."

Roy Hodgson's side was a young selection in which the talents of Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling were central.

Roddy, who was speaking alongside Scudamore at the launch of the Premier League 2, added: "When we started out, lots of people would say to us, 'There's no English talent'. And now they say, 'Actually there is English talent, but it needs opportunity'.

"That is a seismic shift from where we were only four seasons ago."

The Premier League has previously been accused by many, including Steven Gerrard, of undermining the progress of young English footballers by not restricting the number of overseas players often considered responsible for limiting their opportunities.

Scudamore, however, remained adamant there is no need for a quota on the number of foreign players to be introduced.

He also spoke of his confidence the Premier League 2, for under-23 teams, will benefit player development, and insisted its existence ruled out the prospect of the 'B' teams Football League clubs feared.

"This is the beginning of the end of 'B' teams, this is it," he said. "That's the whole point of it to be honest. We are absolutely consistent on our view about no 'B' teams in the regular Football League.

"Yes, of course, we know some of our clubs would like 'B' teams. We'd all like more pay and longer holidays, that's where 'B' teams sit.

"It's a 'nice to have' for those clubs who would like to have it. We look abroad and we see the benefit of 'B' teams, it's just for the English football structure and pyramid it doesn't work and so this is it. We can console all these worried Football League clubs' supporters, thin end of the wedges, this isn't the thin end of the wedge, this is the block. It's the beginning of the end of it."

Press Association

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