British players for British teams?

David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, has spoken out about foreign players in the Premier League. My first observation on his latest outburst is that in thirty years of involvement in local football in Southend-on-Sea and surrounding areas I have not encountered Mr Amess once – I do question his footballing credentials. But setting that aside, I guess he is entitled to his opinions in spite of his distance from the sport.

He says that we (England) will never win the World Cup again if we have all these overseas players. I am unconvinced that our international failures are linked to the nationality of the players in any division. A look back at our international record shows just the one success, and that was in large measure a result of hosting the 1966 tournament. All those past failures were set against a backdrop of league teams largely consisting solely of UK players.

Our current FIFA ranking of 20 suggests that the recent performance in Brazil was about as expected. We are not entitled to success, and featuring in the latter stages of many international tournaments is beyond the expectations of many countries.

Foreign-born players feature in all levels of football, including the grassroots. If Mr Amess wants to boycott teams that include foreigners why stop with the Premier League?

I also wonder whether Mr Amess’s objections extend to foreign-born political advisers, because if they do then he ought to have a word with his boss.

As for the high pay, is there an irony in a representative of a party which has a laissez-faire approach to economics now advocating restraint in the salaries of high earners?

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