Professional Footballers Association chief executive Gordon Taylor wants modern football to show money is not its sole driving force, as he fears the game is in danger of "losing its soul".
Three days out from the start of the new season but after a summer of more international disappointment - England's three teams at international tournaments all flopped - Taylor has raised concerns that football may have its priorities wrong.
Taylor was speaking after visiting former player Gary Parkinson, who is recovering from a stroke, and he claimed the ex-Middlesbrough man's plight had made him think about what is important in football.
"He had a bad stroke, I saw the way his family had looked after him and the way football responded," Taylor told talkSPORT.
"It is about that. I was making the point that I don't want people thinking it's all about money, where money is the only gauge of success.
"I think the game is in danger of losing its soul because I think about youngsters playing football, having the facilities, aspiring to be like heroes and we're not working hard enough on that."
With England's Under-20 and Under-21 sides returning home from their respective tournaments with little to shout about, several questions have again been asked as to why the Three Lions continue to fail on the big stage.
Taylor did not blame the players and cited a need for a change in approach at club level in order to achieve in the future.
"There is so much demand for instant success, instant teams, and from that point of view no great stability. Without that, how are you going to develop players?" he added.
"It's the patience you need to put a youngster in, take him out, put him in for a bit longer. You can't expect youngsters at 17, 18, 19 to stay there, they will burn out."