Wouldn’t it be lovely if England won the world cup?  Can anyone imagine the scene? Streets lined with joyful faces, bunting up and street parties in full flow.  A triumphant team paraded on an open top bus to a luncheon at No 10.  The whole team and manager warmly embraced on the steps of number 10 by David Cameron and other equally loathsome political opportunists, the knighthoods that would follow and the smug arrogance and the I told you so attitude of the liberal elite as the arguments about foreign premiere league imports weakening football in the UK simply vanish in a puff of yellow smoke. 
Could England win the world cup? Well I suppose anything is possible but it gets a whole lot more difficult when domestic clubs can just fill teams with a plethora of foreign imports thereby saving the trouble of actually looking for or more importantly producing the home grown talent.
 “On the 26th December 1999 Chelsea were the first team to field an entirely foreign starting line-up, on the 14th February 2005 Arsenal were the first club to announce a completely foreign 16 man squad for a match.”
Seb Blatter famously stated he would intervene to restrict UK clubs filling their boots with cheap imports as he correctly saw that such practices were weakening (in particular) the English game thus making the job of England  qualifying for the World Cup  much more difficult. 
Why did he do this? Simple, he realised that the world cup without England is meaningless (whether we are ever likely to win or not). 
No England in the final 32 means revenues through gate receipts and merchandising take a dive and crucially the money is diminished and goodness me that would never do would it?
So Blatter stated that he was going to talk to the E.U. commission. An act which brought precisely no change whatsoever as football is subject to E.U. freedom of movement rules and no one, not even Blatter is going to change that.
What does this mean in practical terms?  Well most obviously it highlights the extent that UK/England  football is being undermined by E.U. dominance and bureaucracy and if you look away from the microcosm that is football for one moment, it becomes clear that this is a happening concurrently in so many areas of our collective national life; yet we are powerless to act whilst we are members of the E.U.
So what about our chances of ever lifting that unique golden trophy? Slim to virtually non existent (as things currently stand).
So in my opinion, and as much as it pains me to say it, the best thing that could happen would be for England to get knocked out in the pool stages having had their many and obvious weaknesses exposed by (lets face it in their pool group) second tier opponents. 
We can then start the conversation that needs to be aired about the weakening of the national team and the wider consequences of E.U. membership as a whole.
Failing this, the highest paid league in the world will continue to attract megastars and cheap imports alike making the chances of the home grown talent making it in the world of top flight football much more difficult to realise.
Sky, BT ESPN. and  the Barclays premiership don’t care about the national team; for  them it’s all about money.  Let’s face it, while the money keeps rolling in these huge corporations will do nothing to change the status quo and as a consequence of their ruthless pursuit of money England fans are likely to go very hungry for world cup glory.  Sadly I can see this starting to occur in my favourite sport Rugby .  It seems that when money talks no one learns the lessons.

Photo by Jeremy Wilburn

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