According to Ireland On-Line, it appears that England have all-but ruled themselves out of a Home Nations tournament in 2009.
“FA chief executive Brian Barwick and his Scottish FA counterpart Gordon Smith had informal talks about an England v Scotland in South Africa yesterday but no final decision has been made.
However it is understood the FA made it clear they will not take part in any regular tournament involving the home nations and Republic of Ireland.”
Quite simply, England have a shiny new stadium that they haven’t yet paid for and a few meaningless friendlies against their British and Irish counterparts are not going to bring in the revenue compared to an Argentina or an Italy. While the England team are pretty woeful at the moment, they’re still a pretty big draw for many nations – which is why they’re often at a disadvantage against the likes of Croatia and Sweden.
Alex McLeish hits the nail on the head when he says:
“I’d love to play England but perhaps they feel they have bigger fish to fry,”.
Can anybody really get excited about a competition between the four other teams? Wales and Republic of Ireland were drawn together in the qualifying for Euro 2008, yet only 24,619 people attended the recent match at the Millennium.
Ultimately, the fans will be required to pay inflated prices to watch a bunch of average Premier League and Championship footballers. This concept has emerged mainly because of the quartet’s inability to qualify for major tournaments.