Premier League news

PL chief: England woes not our fault

July 3, 2013
By ESPN staff

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has denied that England's top competition is to blame for the current failings of the Three Lions.

Richard Scudamore
GettyImagesRichard Scudamore: Premier League chief executive

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England manager Roy Hodgson has been highly critical of the Premier League in recent times, dismayed at the influx of foreign talent into the competition league, while being left perplexed at the league's decision to schedule two high profile matches ahead of England's crucial World Cup qualifiers in September.

However, Scudamore leapt to the defence of the Premier League, confident the competition was doing its share to help England to Brazil 2014.

"There were 210 players qualified to play for England playing in the Premier League last year, and - by the way - they're all playing in the Premier League," Scudamore told The Telegraph.

"And we ought to be able to find 11 to take the field to do well. Those players are playing week in, week out against the world's best talent. There are other factors at play, which are not our responsibility."

And the league chief refused to apologise for the scheduling drama that has earned the ire of Hodgson, with matches between Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham preceding England's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

Instead, Scudamore believed the international arena had forced the league's hand.

"We started with 22, we're now down to 20, and that's been the same for 19 years," he said.

"It's our international confederations that have squeezed the calendar, not us. So we really get quite bristly at the idea that, with the fixture calendar, it's somehow us being the awkward ones."