Hamann slams Premier League

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann claims the hype surrounding the Premier League is akin to fraud and believes the England squad is average at best.

The Three Lions suffered the upset of the European Championship on Monday night when they were sent packing by Iceland after a 2-1 defeat in the round of 16.

The result fell well short of pre-tournament expectations, as well as the Football Association's target of a semi-final berth. National-team manager Roy Hodgson resigned immediately after the match, but Hamann is adamant the problem is much deeper than poor coaching.

"English people believe the hype of the Premier League," the German told RTE. "They have sold a Skoda for a Lamborghini for the last 15 years.

"The Premier League is average. If you look at Spain and Germany and the standard of football and look at the quality of football, it's in a different league to England. Because it's been watched all over the world, that doesn't make it the best programme.

"They've created a brand, fair do to them, the players earn a lot of money, and all these players should light a candle every time they go to bed at night, because if they were Icelandic, Portuguese, Dutch or German, they would struggle to earn a quarter of the money they're on now.

"It's not their fault that the clubs are paying that money. But it's over-inflated, the Premier League is a fraud."