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  • The Levy The Levy May 27, 2009 17:32 Flag

    The North-West is Dominant!

    This might be one of the few threads where even Scousers can agree with me, but with the promotion of Burnley the North-West now has a staggering EIGHT EPL clubs!!! WE are THE FOOTBALL REGION.....

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    • There are plenty of good lower division teams in the west country - don`t forget the two bristol clubs and yeovil - but what the region needs is for one of its clubs to get in to the premiership so that the profile of the whole region can be raised. Personally I would love that to be plymouth argyle but like the two bristol clubs there is a problem in first attracting and then keeping young talent - lets not forget that when he left utd Sylvan-Blake first went to argyle but unfortunately he didn`t stay there long. Part of the problem is that the west country clubs don`t have an history of success in the top divison - or any division for that matter - whereas clubs like wolves and burnley can point to how they did in the the old first division. The only success west country teams have had is as giant killers in the fa cup and even that has faded along with yeovil`s old slopping pitch.

    • I agree totally Vito, Torquay United were forced to scrap their Reserve team and abandon their youth system in order to fight their way out of the Conference League and claw their way back into Div 2.

      They went from a squad (first team and reserves) of 36 in Div 2 to a first team squad only, and that never got much beyond 18-20 players at the most while they were in the Conference, sometimes as low as 16 players....

      They lost their best two youth players to Plymouth when they had to close the Torquay Academy as there just wasn't the funds to keep the kids on. One of them went on to earn Plymouth a £1.4m transfer fee!

      Good thing is that the club hasn't had a single penny of debt for the last Seven years, which is incredible considering the pittance they receive from TV rights.

      The future of English football is not so rosy if you look beyond the next four or five years....

    • Exiles, re: your closing statement, unfortunately, a precedent has been set. It is the very reason Serie A is breaking away so as to NOT share the TV revenue and profits. Some think it is the end of the beginning as Italian football will finally compete with the Premier League and La Liga (well Real Madrid, really) in paying ridiculous sums to snap up world class players. However, I'd like to think, that it is the beginning of the end since it would mean the end of local talent coming through the ranks, which you will notice, we have in abundance in Italy. The days of local lads like Maldini, Del Piero, Totti rising through the ranks to become ICONS for their respective clubs are numbered indeed.

    • Spot on Syco, it is the Youth rule that dictates much of the academy set up in the South West. Don't get me wrong, they have a great academy down at Plymouth with some great local lads....But the Youth rules were brought in with top clubs in mind and without consideration for smaller clubs from rural regions.

      Dan Gosling is a south Devon lad who was snapped up by Everton last season from Plymouth, and the next big thing to come out of the local area Liam Head comes from the next village to me and has already played for England U16's on a regular basis and is currently being courted by both Arsenal and West Ham.

      There are some great players coming through down here in Bumpkin land but the petty amounts of cash being trickled down from the wealthy Premier League to the grass roots clubs and Div 2/Conference Leagues is hindering young English players from breaking into football.

      Rather than paying a club that finishes 16th in the Premier League such ridiculous amounts they should be sharing that wealth out more across English football. That way more kids might get back to supporting local clubs, subsidised entrance fees for kids to watch Div 1/Div2/Conference matches would be a great start.

    • To be fair, I can see your point with Plymouth. Potentially, they look like they could/should be a massive club but they are so far removed it must be difficult.

      The youth player rule (must live within an hour of the training ground I think) means they cant draw much further afield than their home town.

    • ...as opposed to five London clubs, four MIdlands clubs (with Wolves and Brum coming up), one North-east club (two if you include Hull), one just about South-East (Portsmouth). No South-West at all - what a football wasteland that is: no wonder they all support one of the TOP 4!!

      • 1 Reply to The Levy
      • Actually Levy down here in carrot crunching land the locals tend to follow the local teams, they are not very big clubs but they do enjoy a good local following. One of the biggest reasons for not many young Westcountry players making the grade at the highest level is the low population and lack of investment in rural areas in sports facilities.
        If you need to see a perfect example of the Premier League licking up all the cream at the expense of grass roots football then look no further than rural areas.