KEIR RADNEDGE at DEAD SEA: David Dein, one of the men who shaped the Premier world of English football, has praised Greg Dyke for his report into the game.

Dein, former executive vice-chairman of Arsenal, was in at the start of the rebuilding of the English elite league game and accepted that it had created new challenges with its success.

He said: “All credit to Greg Dyke for shaking the tree. It needed to be shaken. The trick is to make sure that the fruit is not too bruised afterwards.

England is streets ahead commercially than its neighbours in France and Italy and Spain but what we haven’t got is what’s going on on the field of play.

“That’s where there’s room for improvement.”

Dein echoed a central theme of the England Commission report which addressed a need to improve and upgrade English football’s attitude and focus on coaching.

He said: “It’s very important that footbll is in a healthy state from top to bottom. You need to protect the pyramid so youngsters get a chance.

“The Premier League is putting a lot of time, effort and money into its youth development programme and I hope that we will see, in years to come, a very healthy global game where everybody has a chance of getting right to the top.”

Asian potential

Dein was speaking during the Soccerex Asian Forum at the King Hussein bin Talal Convention Centre.

He hailed the potential of Asian football but acknowledged a negative perception from the connection with matchfixing rings organsed out of south-east Asia.

Dein said: “It’s damaging because everybody wants a clean game. Gambling is one thing. If people want to do that then good luck to them and it’s part of the culture in parts of Asia.

“Once it turns into matchfixing then you’re in different territory entirely but one goes with the other and that’s the danger. When people go to football they expect a clean game.”