Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard volunteer to talk to Football Association commission about the future of English game
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have both volunteered to give evidence to the FA Commission into the future of English football.
The FA will also invite Gary Lineker – who has been an outspoken critic of the organisation, the England team and the commission – to give his opinion. The commission will also take up José Mourinho on his offer to submit evidence to them and also want to speak to other manager, such as Arsène Wenger, and highly-rated foreign coaches such as the former Manchester United assistant manager René Meulensteen.
Lineker called the make-up of the commission “utterly pointless” after the first eight names were announced last week including the likes of FA vice-chairman Roger Burden and Football League Chairman Greg Clarke alongside former England manager Glenn Hoddle.
Certainly a ninth, and possibly a tenth, member will be invited onto the commission this week with, hopefully, representation draw from the black and ethnic communities.
Sol Campbell, another former England international, had accused the commission of lacking diversity which has caused some exasperation at the FA, who have been working hard to recruit members for several weeks.
Several black former players, for example, are understood to have already been approached and it is hoped a further announcement will be made ahead of the commission’s first meeting within the next fortnight.
One possible suggestion has been an approach to the former England and Liverpool winger John Barnes.
At that meeting FA Chairman Greg Dyke will draw up the terms of reference for the commission which should answer one of the criticisms levelled by the Premier League, who are asking for clarity as to what the commission is aiming to achieve.
Dyke announced the establishing of a commission at a keynote speech last month in which he questioned the low ratio of English players playing in the Premier League and the long-term underachievement of the national team.
The commission will speak to a variety of people with the number of submissions – via interviews, emails, telephone calls, presentations and papers being submitted – expected to run into the hundreds.
The FA is expected to use management consultants and academics to carry out fieldwork, conduct questionnaires and help the commissioners sift through the submissions. The eventual aim is that the commission will publish its findings in a sourced and attributable document by next March.
Interestingly Gerrard, the England captain, and Lampard have already come forward and told the FA that they would like to cooperate and it is hoped that other leading players, both English and foreign, will follow their lead.
The commission will also approach former England managers to ask their views and will canvas the opinions of the media and those working in grass-roots football.
Although the Premier League has decided against taking up a place on the commission, to Dyke’s dismay, the organisation will encourage clubs, executives, managers, coaches and academy directors to cooperate and has promised to open up its resources to the FA.
The commission will examine the way in which young players are developed, their route into the professional game and what happens in terms of their chances to break into the first-team. There will also be an examination as to how coaching is organised and dealt with as a profession.