Football:England team paying price for Premier League riches

The England football team is paying a heavy price for the commercial success of the English Premier League former England manager Graham Taylor told the BBC on Sunday.

Taylor, who had an unsuccessful spell as England manager from 1990-93, said the majority of the money pouring into the clubs in the Premier League was not being spent on signing English talent but the top foreign players.

This he said had an obvious impact on the national team - which has not got to a major semi-final since the Euro '96 tournament - and lower down such as the Under-21 side, which crashed out of the ongoing European championships at the group stage.

Taylor's claims are backed up by research showing the playing time of English players under the age of 21 in the Premier League has fallen to its lowest-ever level.

According to new research by the CIES Football Observatory, only 35 England-qualified players younger than 21 made appearances in the Premier League last season, the lowest figure since 2005.

Taylor, who made his name as manager of Watford in the 1980's, said he didn't expect the favourite for the Manchester City managerial post Manuel Pellegrini to invest any money in English players.

City do, however, have a nucleus of English talent in goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder James Milner and veteran duo, centreback Joleon Lescott and midfielder Gareth Barry, although two of them could well leave the club in the close season.

"If Manuel Pellegrini comes in, I'll be amazed if he signs an English player," the 68-year-old told the BBC.

"Commercially the Premier League has been a major success but at the expense of English players."

"I think we have all seen this coming. We have got this tremendous amount of money that has now come into football.

"It means the top four or five clubs are not looking for the best players in England, but the best players in the world because they can afford to buy them."

Taylor's wrods echoed those of outgoing Football Association chairman David Bernstein last week, who said he believes there is a "desperate need" to increase the number of English Premier League players.

He said only 30% of players in the top flight were eligible for England, compared to more than 50% in Germany.

An exception to the rule in the Premier League were Norwich, who selected 14 English players out of the 27 they used last season, the joint highest percentage in the Premier League, and they also won this year's FA Youth Cup.

"It is important to have a core of English players," said Norwich manager Chris Hughton.

"We have a philosophy of trying to bring through the best young players."

However, Hughton, whose side flirted with relegation before finishing 11th last season, said he believed the Premier League was trying to do its' best to bring new English talent through.

"The Premier League and the academies are working very hard and there are more people trying to get the coaching badges required," he said.

"We are making great strides that way."