Home-grown players’ passion was basic for football success

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The Sheffield United team of the early 1960s was home- produced, played superb football and was successful in the top division.

In the ’60s and ’70s they had renowned players such as Alan Hodgkinson, Len Badger, Alan Woodward, Tony Currie, Mick Jones, Alan Woodward and Alan Birchenall.

This model of home-grown players playing with passion for their local club was widespread then.

The sport has sadly been gradually distorted by factors like billionaire owners, foreign ownership, the formation of the Premiership, Champion League rewards, television money, and too many foreign and mercenary players and managers.

Why do fans accept the high admission and television charges to view ridiculously overpaid prima donnas?

Should below-average players be paid half a million pounds a year?

Top bankers are widely criticised for their rewards, but despite the demise of former great clubs like Leeds United and Portsmouth, many excel in over-spending.

In 2014, English players are a rarity at clubs like Manchester City and the national side have not emulated the lowly paid England players who won the World Cup in 1966.

After the success of Costa Rica and Algeria, contrasting with the humiliation of the superstars of Brazil, England, Italy and Spain, a return to realism and basics is needed.

I used to think theTV programme Footballers’ Wives was fantasy.

Sadly, with YayaToure complaining of disrespect from his directors despite £10 million a year and a birthday cake and seeing the behaviour and displayed wealth of many players and their wives and girlfriends, it could now be reality.

David H Wells

Wimborne, Dorset (formerly Cortworth Road, Ecclesall)