Press Release: Greg Dyke's plans will do sweet FA for English football

Commenting on Greg Dyke's new FA commission plan, the Adam Smith Institute's Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, said: "Greg Dyke is flying blind in trying to crack down on non-EU players in the Premier League.

"There is virtually no existing evidence to support Dyke's apparent view that more foreigners playing in the EPL hurts the quality of the national side.

"In fact, according to an ongoing study I am conducting, there is practically no relationship whatsoever between the number of foreign players in the league and the English national team's performance.

"We cannot be sure what the final results will be, but the preliminary results show pretty much no relationship between the number of Premier League minutes—or the proportion—played by English players, and England's FIFA Rank, which is an accurate measure of quality.

"There is also no relationship when the comparison is with success in major championships, nor when we wait five or even ten years for the effects to permeate through.

"It may well be that less experience means a worse team, but if so it seems like it's being cancelled out by another effect: many footballers say that foreign players have raised the overall standard and this may be what's going on.

"What we do know is that there is a very strong link between more foreign players and English club success in Europe, not to mention the popularity of the league abroad. Dyke's policy will make English clubs worse without any likely benefits to the English national team now or down the line."

Note: Ben Southwood is currently conducting statistical research into the link between foreign players and English national success. 

For further comment, contact Ben Southwood at ben@adamsmith.org / 07557 448 956

To arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778 207.

The Adam Smith Institute is an independent libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.