Monday, 19 July 2010

When will the rest of the world follow the German example?

One of the major talking points of this world cup has been the emergence of a young German team. This team had been written off by everyone before the tournament had even started, although those who had seen them play knew the confidence and ability was there and waiting to shine. The fact that they finished in 3rd place for the 3rd successive world cup indicates a nation who have succeeded in producing talent that has come to fruition at the correct time.

Although the German’s have had considerable success both internationally and domestically they realised after the early exit in Euro 2004 that things had to change. Jurgen Klinsmann was appointed as manager with Joachim Loew brought in as his assistant. The ideas put in place during this period produced the results we have seen in the 2010 World Cup. They have placed more emphasis on the development of their young players and ensuring that those brought through should gain experience as early as possible.

This was aided by the German FA who insisted that every German club side in Bundesliga 1 and 2 had to have youth teams who would compete in a league every season. Although this does exist in the Premiership there is now much more attention paid to this development than there is here. When you consider that 15 of their 23 players were 25 or under it begins to demonstrate how influential this could be.

The German FA has also introduced the 50+1 rule which prevents foreign investors buying majority shares in Bundesliga clubs. Although in some corners they view this as potentially damaging to the league it will ensure the ownership of clubs remains where it should; with the fans. After the recent revelations regarding the debt at Manchester United and Liverpool this would seem appealing to many of the Premiership clubs that are now owned by foreign businessmen. When you consider how much money is pumped into the game in this country it is also staggering to see that the German’s are also able to run their league with the biggest profit margin in Europe. Whilst the Bundesliga may not be as attractive to potential sponsors or top name players they are at least ensuring financial stability for a long time to come.

All these implementations have resulted in the continuing success of the national team which is vital for the progression of football. The model is not over complex or financially crippling, but why is it not being replicated elsewhere? The model in England is failing and the Football Association needs to take action now before the country falls further and further behind.

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