Paul Gardner
World Soccer|September 2018
Paul Gardner

The experts are holding youngsters back

I find it increasingly difficult to summon up interest when I hear that football – maybe FIFA, maybe UEFA, maybe the FA – announces that it has appointed yet another committee or panel or advisory group. And that is because these select bodies rarely seem to have much impact.

There must have been an occasion when an expert committee came up with something of fundamental importance that the sport adopted, but at the moment I cannot think of one.

Appointing an expert committee merely poses as action. In reality, it is a tried and trusted method of postponing action. No self-respecting expert committee can be expected to complete its lucubrations in less than a year. Time enough to smother any urgency; even for the original problem to have been forgotten before any report or recommendations appear.

Another quibble I have with many of these studies is that they smack more of laboratory theory than of the realities of the game itself.

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September 2018