The Football Association have announced the introduction of Clause 5, the FA’s controversial plan to root out skill and talent from the English game.
FA Chairman, Greg Dyke said: “This is one of the major issues facing the game. How do we bring everyone together to try and stamp out skill and talent? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against skill and talent. Indeed, some of my best friends are skilled and talented but there is no place for them in the modern game.
“All the time we prevaricate on this issue we are wasting valuable time – time that could be used to put football’s house in order. This meeting couldn’t come at a more apposite time with the World Cup less than nine months away.
“The thing is, superficially at least, skill and talent are very attractive. There is an allure there – you can’t argue with that. – but what we can do is to make sure that everyone is aware of the dangers.
“As a consequence, we will be particularly attentive in ensuring that the young and impressionable are protected and that coaches at all levels are aware of their responsibility.
“I’ve recently been liaising with my Swiss and Ukrainian counterparts. As you will be aware, both have introduced highly successful pilot schemes. Indeed, at the last World Cup they were virtually unwatchable. If they can do it there, I see no reason why, with proper planning and safeguards in place, we couldn’t replicate it here.
“Some of our teams have done sterling work in this respect. Stoke City FC, for example, has virtually eliminated skill and talent in a little over three seasons.
“The big difficulty really lies with getting co-operation from the bigger clubs – the Manchester Utds, Man Cities, Chelseas and Arsenals of this world.”