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Dyke: England problem getting worse
Greg Dyke used his first speech as Football Association chairman to warn that drastic changes are needed to stop the England side sliding into oblivion.
Dyke, who took control of the FA in June, set England the target of winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
But he warned that will not be possible unless more English players are playing at the top level.
Dyke said: "England is already short of players who regularly turn out at the top level for their clubs and are qualified to play for England but the real problem is that, year by year, the position is getting worse.
"Twenty years ago 69 per cent of all the players starting matches in the Premier League were qualified to play for England.
"Ten years later that figure was down to 38 per cent. Last season, another 10 years on, the same figure was down to 32 per cent."
"But we already know the problem is going to get worse in the future."
Dyke insisted the main two targets laid out in his speech - reaching the semi-finals of the 2020 European Championship and winning the World Cup two years later - were not unrealistic.
The fact that the 2022 World Cup is currently scheduled to be played in the 50-degree heat of Qatar makes Dyke's hopes seem very optimistic, however.
To bring the glory days back, Dyke said English football must not repeat the failures of past post-mortems.
Dyke said English football had not learned the lessons from a Professional Footballers' Association report in 2007 which was entitled 'Meltdown'.
That report warned England had become a "finishing school for the rest of the world, at the expense of our own players".
Dyke said the situation was now worse for English talent.
"Since that report was produced in 2007 the problem has got worse, not better," he added.
"Perhaps no-one in football was listening, maybe they didn't care or, most likely of all, they didn't know what to do about it."
Dyke said the Premier League - of which he was part of the formation in 1992 - had become the most successful league in the world and he had no wish to "kill the golden goose in the search for the golden egg".
However, he said the England team had "become the victim of unintended consequences".
Dyke added: "English football, I think, is a tanker which needs turning."
The consequences of inaction are grave, the FA chairman warned.
"We have to do something," he said. "If we do not, it's hard to see England even challenging for the World Cup or the Euro Championships in the years ahead - let alone meeting the targets I've set.
"If we do not, we will be letting down generations of English kids who might otherwise have made it at the top level in football but weren't given the chance.
"If we do not, we will be letting down the England fans who turn up in their thousands."
Dyke revealed he will head an FA commission that will look into the problem of dwindling English players in the top flight.
The chairmen of the Professional Footballers' Association, the League Managers' Association and the Premier League will be invited to sit alongside Dyke in the commission, which will meet for the first time this month and report back in the new year.
Former England players and managers, journalists and academics will be invited to give their opinions on what can be done to help boost the number of young England players coming through the ranks.
Dyke said the commission will look at the possibility of introducing a foreign player quota - something which he admits may be legally "complex".
The commission will also look into possible reform of the work-permit application scheme and the possibility of changing the loan system to help young English players get more game time.
Intriguingly, the pros and cons of a winter break will also be evaluated.
"I know setting up a commission might be seen as a bureaucratic response to a serious problem but if we are to have any chance of success going forward it's important that football as a whole recognises the problem and also buys into the possible radical solutions," Dyke added.