Sir Bobby 'would not like greed'

16 July 2013 06:16

Sir Bobby Robson would have been despondent about the greed and lack of loyalty in football today and concerned about the dearth of English players in the top flight, his son has claimed.

But Mark Robson hopes that a national football day named after his late father will help build on an FA campaign to boost the sport and help the drive to increase the number of English players in the Premier League.

The Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day on Saturday, August 10 will see 150 events take place across the country as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Mark Robson told Press Association Sport: "The FA have done a lot of work at grassroots level and it's a huge undertaking, but I think Dad set a very good example of what can be achieved and it is fantastic to have a day named in his memory.

"When he was at Ipswich most of his team came through the youth system and he only bought something like 14 players in 13 years. Things were different in those days of course, but Barcelona, another of his clubs, have shown recently what can be done by bringing players up through a club. Even when he was at Newcastle, Dad tried to bring in home-grown players and forge a core of UK players at the club."

Sir Bobby became England's most successful manager since Sir Alf Ramsey after leaving Ipswich, and then had spells managing PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona before five years at Newcastle ending in 2004.

Even though Robson's career encompassed the changes that saw vast wealth come into the game, his son believes he would feel things have now gone too far.

He said: "I think he would just shake his head at the money, that would be his first line of thought. He would admire the watchability and quality of the Premier League but he would be a bit despondent about the level of money and greed, with agents and players wanting more and more money and not even wanting to play for their clubs or their country."

On August 10, Sir Bobby's wife Elsie will attend a coaching clinic and tournament at the Sir Bobby Robson Football Centre in Sacriston, Durham. The FA will also make a donation on the day to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the charity he established during the last 18 months of his life to help in the fight against cancer.

Other events planned for August 10 include a women's festival at the national football centre at St George's Park, a beach soccer event in Dorset, a Respect event at Netherton United in Peterborough, and a tournament and coaching session at AC Paulista FC in Lewisham, London.

Source: PA

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