Greg Dyke

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Opposition to Wembley sale ‘bizarre’ and led by ‘old men’

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Greg Dyke sees Shahid Khan’s capsized bid to buy Wembley Stadium as a massive missed opportunity for English soccer, and the former Football Association chairman is quite displeased by the “bizarre” opposition of the “old men” on the FA council.

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With an offer of more than $780 million on the table, Dyke believes that unprecedented — and otherwise impossible — investments could have been made to grassroots soccer that might just create a brighter future for the English game. If only it wasn’t for those meddling kids “the council is living in the past, as it always has done,” as he put it — quotes from the BBC:

“If I’d been chairman, I would have said it is the board’s decision.

“I don’t think the council is equipped to make this decision — that is what the FA board is for.”

Most notably, England is in desperate need of artificial playing fields up and down the country, as well as a tidal wave of newly licensed coaches to begin working at younger and younger age groups.

“The FA has only owned Wembley for 10 to 15 years, before that it was a private business.

“The idea you are going to lose something of value to Britain because it is not owned by the FA is the wrong one compared to spending [$784 million] doing what is desperately needed in this country and that is to spend money on grassroots facilities.

“If you want to have a step change in grassroots facilities in this country, you need this sort of money to be spent.

“It’s bizarre that the old men of the FA Council have stopped this.

“One of the tragedies of English football in recent years is that all the extra money that has come into the Premier League has by and large gone to players or agents, and not to football generally.”

Oftentimes, tradition and history come at the expense of revolution and progression, only to later realize that a golden opportunity has come and gone.

Chairman of English FA to stand down this summer

AP Photo/Sang Tan
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LONDON (AP) The head of English football says he will not stand for re-election this year because of the “inevitable discord” that will be created as he attempts to push through reform programs.

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Greg Dyke will leave as chairman of the Football Association in July after three years in the position.

Dyke says in a statement Thursday that he is “probably not the best person to pick up the pieces” if his governance reform measures for English football are passed.

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Dyke said “whichever way the vote goes on reform, I think the FA will need more of a conciliatory figure than me to build on what has been achieved.”

He says English football is in a better place financially, administratively and from a coaching standpoint than before he took over in 2013.

England chairman Dyke says FA could consider bidding for 2026 World Cup

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England is still stung by the scandals over the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding, but still could join the competition to host the 2026 tournament.

At least that’s the statement from FA chairman Greg Dyke, who says the FA would need to know the government and populace backed the decision.

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Canada, Mexico and Columbia have all confirmed their interest in hosting the event, while Kazakhstan, Morocco and the United States are also said to be considering bids.

Here’s what Dyke said, hedging his words very carefully and calling England “badly scarred” by the FIFA scandal.

From the BBC:

“To make a bid you’ve got to get whoever is the government onside, and we don’t know who that is yet because they have to underwrite it.

“And certainly in the current government you wouldn’t have got them onside because they were so badly scarred last time.

“In the future if the government is onside, if David Gill says ‘I think this is a straight and fair process’ then obviously the FA board will look at it again but that doesn’t mean to say we’ll bid.

“Also, there’s a lot of money involved so if you haven’t got a chance don’t do it.”

“All of us would love to have another World Cup. We would love it. But there’s no point if you haven’t got a chance and you’ve got to recognise that early on.”

If England won the rights, it would be three-straight tournaments in Europe or Asia since Brazil 2014. But they can’t win the rights if they don’t bid. Do you think England “has the appetite” for another bid?

FA’s Greg Dyke reveals plans for stricter work permit restrictions


“How many other Harry Kanes are around in the youth teams of Premier League clubs?”

That’s what FA chairman Greg Dyke is hoping to find out, and he’s got his wish. Thanks to a new rule outline revealed today, English clubs will have much stricter guidelines when it comes to foreign players coming to the league in a few years.

Dyke believes the sheer volume of foreign players coming to the Premier League is blocking the path of some English players and stunting their growth. “We believe too many talented English kids are currently not getting through the system and being lost,” Dyke said. He pointed to Harry Kane, Tottenham’s 21-year-old striker who came seemingly from nowhere and is suddenly one of the top scores in the league this year.

“It was almost by chance that Tim Sherwood became manager at Tottenham for a time and put him in the side,” Dyke pointed out. “Otherwise he would still be out on loan at Millwall or somewhere else.

So now, thanks to Kane’s success, Dyke has convinced the FA to run with his plan. The guidelines include:

  • “Homegrown players” must be registered with their club by age 15, a drop from the current required age of 18
  • The minimum required number of “homegrown players” on a 25-man roster will increase to 12, from the current minimum of eight.
  • The rules will introduce a requirement of two “club-trained” players – defined as any player, irrespective of nationality, that has been registered for three years at their current club from the age of 15.

There will also be a serious increase in the restrictions placed on work permits issued to non-European based players. As the BBC puts it, “Only the best non-EU foreign players will be granted permission to play in England, with the process for dealing with appeals to be tightened.”

Dyke said that while he isn’t trying to decrease the talent level of the league, he hopes to weed out the lower-level players eating up spots for English talent. As a result, many of the players currently in the league wouldn’t have been allowed to sign up. “If you apply the system we are just introducing over the last five years, a third of non-EU overseas players that have come here wouldn’t get in,” Dyke said. “We don’t want to stop the outstanding talent coming here, but there are an awful of bog-standard players as well.

He outlined a timeline that would slowly introduce the rules over the next few years, allowing teams time to thin their rosters to become compliant with the new guidelines.

“If we could get all this through, over the next three, four or five years, you could see the numbers of home-grown players going up from a percentage in the high 20s to 40%,” Dyke said. “It matters that this happens across the whole of English football, but it particularly matters to the top end of the Premier League.”

According to the Associated Press, the new rules would have prevented American players such as Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea from signing with Premier League clubs. Both men signed with Stoke City, with Cameron joining in 2012 and Shea coming to England a year later.

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants more technology in soccer, but no one’s listening to him

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English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke is one of the leading men in calling for further use of technology to aid referees in world soccer, and he’s starting to get fed up with the shortsightedness of his colleagues who refuse to explore the idea.

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Dyke, who this week attended an International FA board meeting which also featured FIFA president Sepp Blatter, spoke out on Saturday and voiced his frustration over resistance from other top league officials from around the UK.

Dyke, from the Daily Mail:

“I was a bit disappointed that we havn’t got this any further. I’m a great fan of video technology. It seems to me that if there are means of helping referees, we should try them in trials and if they work, adopt them.”

“It’s no use waiting for a Frank Lampard-type incident which helped bring in goalline technology. We should get on the front foot. You don’t want to do it without trials and it should only be use to help referees, not over-rule them.”

“Are we going to look again at the rules? I don’t think so,’ said Dyke. ‘You can’t take a couple of incidents in one weekend and say the whole thing is in crisis. The stats don’t show that.

“Having said that, over a period of time we should be looking at the increased use of video technology. In 20 years’ time, we’ll look back and say ‘wasnt it quaint’ when we didn’t use it. I hope the trials in Holland continue.”

Dyke comes across not as someone who’s hellbent on doing things “his way or the highway,” but as a forward-thinking man willing to explore any and every avenue to improve the game within the country he’s tasked with running.  If it doesn’t work, then so be it, at least we tried.

Making sweeping changes overnight would unquestionably be the wrong route to travel, and Dyke seems to understand that better than most. Those that are unwilling to improve in order to advance themselves are bound to be left behind sooner rather than later. Dyke also understands this, and wants better for the English game.

Every league in the world should be exploring options — not implementing immediate changes — with regard to technological aids. If they’re not, they’ve not got their organization’s best interests in mind.