The following statement is issued by The FA with the endorsement of all those...
The following statement is issued by The FA with the endorsement of all those in last week's managers meetings...Click here for the full story...
Those attending were:
Sir Bobby Robson
Sir Alex Ferguson
Mike Foster / David Richards - Premier League
John Barnwell - League Managers Association
Les Reed / Noel White / Sven Goran Eriksson - The FA
The meetings were chaired by The FA's Head of Football Affairs, David Davies.
Sven Goran Eriksson has discussed these matters with other managers including Greame Souness and Steve McClaren.
Several managers regretted that they were unable to attend the meetings due to their commitments, but pledged their support.
Working Together for English Football
A Summary of the Managers Summits - Spring 2003
At a series of meetings and discussions over recent days, representatives of The FA, the Premier League (PL) and the League Managers Association (LMA) have talked to the majority of Premier League managers to discuss "club and country" issues. By common consent of those attending, these contacts have been highly successful. All those involved shared a frank exchange of views on how best to work more closely together in the interests of English football. They regretted such discussions had not taken place before. The FA, the PL and the LMA will look to ensure they do so on a more regular basis in the future.
Discussions concentrated on football matters at a time of a difficult and uncertain financial climate being endured by The FA, amongst others in the football industry. Subjects addressed included the value of friendly matches, their scheduling inside and outside the domestic season and the burden on players who are involved in domestic and international competitions. Clubs involved in European competition expressed concerns about friendlies in the latter part of the season.
The managers understood the frustration of The FA that recent initiatives to help clubs e.g. the non-use of several friendly dates in 2002/03 could have been perceived as harming the national team when so many other national teams continued to play. They also recognised the problems that had arisen with restricting players to 45-minute appearances.
Sven Goran Eriksson repeated his strongly held belief that international teams preparing for major tournaments needed a minimum of four weeks preparation at the end of our domestic season. There was considerable surprise amongst managers that UEFA had scheduled next year's Champions League Final a mere 17 days before the start of their own Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal.
During a discussion about the scheduling of international matches, and the build up to them, The FA was urged by several managers to consider moving 'double-headers', with the agreement of opponents, from Saturday/Wednesday as at present to Saturday (even Friday)/ Tuesday. One-off friendlies might also be played on Tuesdays it was ARGUED.
All attending the meetings heard clear explanations from those with experience of fixture scheduling about their problems given the current international calendar and contract demands.
In summary, it was agreed that -
· All present support the right of Sven Goran Eriksson to choose the players he wants, to play them when he wants and for how long he wants. Sven Goran Eriksson commits himself to continue to work with managers to recognise and respond to their concerns, especially in the latter part of the season.
· The FA confirms that April international dates have been removed after 2004.
· Under the current international calendar, England need to play friendly matches during and outside the domestic season. In doing so, they will be supported by the managers.
· The FA recognises the preference of the managers that friendly matches during the season are played at home in normal circumstances. This preference will be recognised in scheduling matches beyond next season.
· Sven Goran Eriksson and the managers agree on the value of 'get-togethers' in selected international weeks.
· The FA agree to give urgent consideration to the proposal which could result in players on international duty being returned to their club 24 hours earlier than at present.
· Whatever their own nationality, the managers recognise and support The FA's aim of winning a major tournament by 2006 in the interests of English football as a whole.
· The club managers, The FA, the PL and the LMA pledge themselves to work together to recognise both each other's concerns, and the wider good of English football. The common interest of the clubs and the England national team are far greater than any differences - success for both will benefit both!
· The FA, the PL and the LMA will arrange further meetings with managers next year.
Davies reflects on summit talks