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By ESPN Staff
Dec 1, 2007

Premier League reject blame for England woes

Chief executive Richard Scudamore has hit out at suggestions the Premier League is to blame for England's international struggles.

Scudamore has also warned the Football Association they must re-structure the national team set-up if it is to prosper under the next manager.

The Premier League chief, in the face of suggestions the greed of top clubs is stifling young English talent, said in The Times: 'They (clubs) are out there desperately seeking the golden nugget that is local, home-grown talent.

'Not only does it save them a fortune, but they are great to have. [Jamie] Carragher and [Steven] Gerrard at Liverpool. [John] Terry at Chelsea. They spend huge money on the academies and they are absolutely committed to finding that local talent.

'The problem is, the clubs aren't responsible for the whole process.

'Government decides how much sport is played by young people and then my friends down the road at the FA take responsibility for 99.9% of the football that is played in this country.

'Which makes it hard for me to sit here in my office and accept we are responsible. We are responsible for a small piece of the pie.'

In terms of the FA appointing Steve McClaren's successor, Scudamore said: 'They need to find a guy who knows what he wants, who has the right philosophy, and then let him have what he wants.

'Don't second-guess him. Don't mess with him. Don't get in his way. Don't create a circus around him.

'Decisions about the England team should be left to the chief executive, or the executive, and the manager.

'There is a role for an international committee, but it should be to do with diplomacy, talking to other national associations. You shouldn't have this whole entourage that interferes with what is a very focused business.

'That is something England can learn from the clubs. They are focused around one or two people.'