Bernstein wants more English players in the Premier League

FA chairman David Bernstein has led the calls for more English players to feature regularly in the Premier League, claiming there is a ‘desperate need’ to promote this. He says work is underway to improve the bleak statistics that have just 30 per cent of English players playing in the top flight, less than double the number in the Bundesliga. Bernstein is stepping down from his position in July.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “On the wider issue of club and country, the number of English players in the Premier League and the Football League is a really important matter.

We desperately need to increase the pool of real quality players that the manager Roy Hodgson has to choose from. That I think is the big issue.

All the work we are doing such as in youth development is aimed at doing that over the next few years and it’s great to see some very good players coming through now such as Jack Wilshere. There are some coming through but we need many more.

Chelsea became the first Premier League side to field a starting XI of foreigners for a Boxing Day game with Southampton in 1999. Six years later, Arsenal fielded an entire squad of foreign players for a match with Crystal Palace.

Back on the league’s opening weekend in 1992, less than 20 players featuring in the Premier League were from outside of England and the Republic of Ireland.

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