Belfast Telegraph

Scudamore keen to help England

The Premier League is committed to helping the Football Association develop more England-ready players, according to chief executive Richard Scudamore.

There was concern in some quarters when the Premier League declined an invitation to take a seat on FA chairman Greg Dyke's commission designed to improve the national game.

Scudamore does not believe that stops the Premier League from doing its best to help produce more players, though.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, he said: "The Premier League is absolutely committed to playing a central part in that discussion, just as our clubs are to producing more and better home-grown players. The emphasis being on the better, not just more.

"We at the Premier League were as pleased as anyone to see Roy Hodgson and the England players complete the job of qualifying for Brazil on Tuesday night as it is good for the whole English game."

Scudamore believes that the Elite Player Performance Plan, which was launched in 2012 with the intention of boosting youth development throughout the divisions, will help achieve Dyke's goal.

"The absolute focus of the new youth development system introduced last season through the Elite Player Performance Plan is simply to do that. Produce players of the quality of Andros Townsend, Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere in greater numbers," he said.

"That is why we are investing £340million into elite youth development over four years. That is why we are investing a further £186million into grassroots participation and facilities over the next three years, working with Government, Sport England, the FA and schools.

"The Premier League and our clubs want a strong England side. We understand the benefits to the whole of English football that would come from success in a FIFA World Cup or a Uefa European Championships."

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