Anorak News | Danny Finklestein Saves English Football From James Prunell

Danny Finklestein Saves English Football From James Prunell

by | 15th, August 2007

AS Dizzy writes on the Culture Secretary’s nonsense:

There is a rather brilliant piece of comment in this morning’s Times by Danny Finkelstein which relates to the matter of the Culutre Secretary James Prunell’s intervention into football which Danny has titled “Save English football! Do absolutely nothing”. The Fink’s starting point is that this all stems from the idea that we have to find a “reason” why England doesn’t win the World Cup and this is the latest one, he goes on to say,

Mr Purnell is an intelligent man, one of the best ministers in the Government. So I have to ask: can’t he see it? Is there something that happens to you when you get office that makes you feel as if you have to interfere, however ludicrous your interference?

First, our failure to win the World Cup isn’t hard to explain. England is a medium-sized country competing with dozens of others. Reaching the quarter-finals, as we usually do, isn’t all that bad. It’s about what you would expect. We didn’t win when we had no foreign players in the league or when we had a few or when we had many. The need for action is posited on the idea that there is a negative correlation between England’s performances and the number of foreign players in our top-flight games. There isn’t the slightest evidence for this.

In any case, restrictions on the number of foreign players would damage the growth of youth football in England. There would be fewer brilliant international players to watch and learn from, and there would be fewer opportunities to play overseas. To put pressure on clubs to buy English players as an act of national solidarity will simply inflate the price of those players without improving their usefulness.

Secondly, the Government is asking clubs voluntarily to become worse. It’s as simple as that. If you scour the world for the best players, you will do better than if you scour only England. An advanced degree in maths is not necessary in order to grasp this point. It is unlikely, therefore, that any club will respond positively to the request.

Hear, hear.

Posted: 15th, August 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink