MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Hopefully B League nonsense leads to reform that's actually needed

PICTURE the scene if you will. It's the 2022 World Cup and Jonny Generic is preparing to take a last minute freekick for England in the World Cup final.

It's improbable, you might argue, England lining up in the final of the World Cup, but it's actually entirely realistic, because Greg Dyke says it is.

Anyway, Jonny Generic is there, ball in hand, surveying the scene as Brazil or Germany or the mighty Spanish organise their wall and assess how to repel Jonny's effort.

It would be a scary moment for young Jonny, but he's fully prepared. In his mind, he knows he's going to score. He's been in this position before, though not in a game watched quite by billions.

"If I can just smash it like I did in that game at Braintree last week in League Three," he no doubt thinks. "Or should I try and bend it around the wall like I did in that match in front of 900 people at Eastleigh?"

Because, you see, this is where we've been going wrong, England are failing internationally because their reserve teams don't currently play in what would become the equivalent of a division five, a halfway house bridging the gap between part-time play and the non-league scene and the riches above.

It is, in this columnists view, a complete and utter nonsense.

However, if the disastrous announcement last week - how can you consult upwards of 600 opinion-makers and not have a single conversation with the Football Conference? A state of play that beggars belief - is merely a gateway to more discussion, it won't be all bad.

It is pretty simple where English football is getting it wrong and to the credit of the Football Association of Wales, they could teach their English counterparts a thing or two.

England is lacking in grassroots facilities, grassroots football in general being prioritised and they are lacking in qualified coaches. And worst of all, they are doing nothing to stop that because it is currently over £3000 to complete your UEFA A license course, a price no ordinary person could dream of paying.

That's why the likes of Spain and Germany have almost ten times the number of coaches we do and let's be frank, I'm telling you nothing you don't already know.

The shock and indignation at Greg Dyke's proposals for reform of English football didn't go down badly because we are a collection of luddites unprepared to see any kind of change.

Purely and simply, they are focusing on the wrong issues.

But the fact the B League and feeder club nonsense has stirred a debate? That's no bad thing.

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