Seeds of football mediocrity

7th July 2000 at 01:00
A FORMER England football manager recently blamed the team's poor showing in Euro 2000 on foreign players in our leagues. He implied they stopped our talented youngsters from gaining any useful experience. What a load of tosh!

The reason that England is so bad at sport (not just football) is that schools today teach it badly, if at all. There is little encouragement for sport and hardly any facilities to nurture the gifted.

Many schools are reluctant to encourage competition. It seems it is better for us all to be mediocre than have a few stars.

Foreigners, by contrast, come from countries where sport is taught without any hang-ups.As a result, more of them have reached the highest levels.

Any parent can see the problem at an average school sports day. Most of these now resemble It's A Knock Out: it's all fun but it's not sport and will never make sportsmen and women.

Another problem is that sport, unlike computing or business studies, doesn't lead pupils to make money. Like theology, philosophy or any other discipline which doesn't create wealth it must be got rid of.

Our footballers and their manager did their best. But with our attitude to sport we have got what we deserve: mediocrity.

KP Gormley

12 Grove Street



Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today