Last week, former England manager Sam Allardyce labelled British managers as ‘second class citizens’ in the ‘foreign’ Premier League.
Speaking on beIn Sports ‘Keys and Grey Show’, Allardyce said British coaches were deemed uneducated, compared to their foreign counterparts.
“I think you are almost deemed as second class because it is your country,” Allardyce told beIN Sports.
“It is a real shame that we are highly educated, highly talented coaches now with nowhere to go.”
“The Premier League is the foreign league in England now…when you look across the owners, the managers and the coaches [and] the players, that is exactly what it is now.”
Allardyce’s views draw sentiment to the opinion that British football is losing its grip on the world’s biggest league.
Foreign investors own 13 of the 20 Premier League teams and 65 per cent of Premier League managers are from foreign backgrounds.
Since Ossie Ardiles became the first foreign manager in the Premier League when he was appointed manager of Tottenham in 1993, the league has transformed from a predominately British coaching structure to one that see’s a scarcity of home grown management.
Despite being in a self-imposed retirement, Allardyce is one of few British managers who would attract interest from numerous top-flight clubs. But the interest would only be from the mid-tier sides, instead of the top six clubs.
When appointed England national manager in July 2016, Allardyce was considered the best candidate of any British manager.
But following his controversial departure 67 days after being appointed, Allardyce returned to club management by joining Crystal Palace at a time when they were in the midst of a relegation battle.
The lack of interest from top clubs in the Premier League to sign British managers is a worry for English Football.
The reports Everton are interested in appointing Burnley manager Sean Dyche as their new manager is seen as a step forward for British management.
Despite being ranked the sixth biggest club in England by the Daily Mail, Everton have averaged an eighth place finish in the Premier League for the past 10 years. With little involvement in European football, the Toffees can not be considered one of the leagues top clubs.
The foreign takeover of English football has also begun to seep its way into the lower leagues. The Championship was once home to English players who were not good enough for top-level football, but could still have a thriving career. Today, foreign consortiums own 14 of the 24 clubs in the EFL Championship.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have set the championship alight this season, largely due to the number of foreign players in their team.
Wolverhampton owner, Fosun International have a close relationship with Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes, who helped the club sign Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa and Roderick Miranda.
The on-field success of Wolves will see more championship clubs focus on recruiting foreign players instead of developing English talent.
2017 has been a successful year for England’s national junior setup, which has won the under 20 and under 17 World Cup’s and the under 19 European Championship.
With so many talented youngsters, England are on the cusp of a golden generation, which will not see fruition in the current English football climate.
The amount of money on offer in the Premier League has led owners and managers being unwilling to risk the possibility of relegation for the sake of youth development.
Chelsea and Manchester City have the best youth set ups in England, but both do not promote academy prospects to their senior line-ups.
Some young talents have moved overseas to try their luck in breaking into first team football, with Jadon Sancho, Reece Oxford and Kaylen Hinds moving to Germany in the quest for senior football.
One way to ensure academy players get a chance in England would be to deploy ‘B’ teams in the divisions below the Premier League, as evident with Barcelona B in Spain’s second division.
Last years Uefa Youth League final was between Benfica and Salzburg, two teams that have second string sides in the lower national leagues.
Another way to ensure youth development would be to appoint a sporting director and head coach, a system deployed in other leagues across Europe.
Germany’s RB Leipzig have had success developing youth with Ralf Rangnick overseeing the whole club, including nurturing young talent, while head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl focused solely on first team affairs.
“In former times and that is still the case at some clubs today, there is a manager doing the head coach and sporting director role and is responsible for everything,” Rangnick told The Sun.
“But if you sack the manager another one comes in and says ‘I don’t want these players… we should sell them’.”
“But there is a tendency things are changing, a few clubs are now thinking about bringing in a sporting director who is then in charge of the medium and long-term plans of the club.”
If English football continues as it has in recent years then there will be no room for Englishmen in the local league. But with a few changes to the way of thinking, British managers and players may once again rule the English game.