Liverpool legend Dietmar Hamann has told Irish broadcaster RTE that the hype surrounding the Premier League is partly to blame for the woes of the English national team, labelling it a "fraud" in a stunning and scathing rant.
Monday's shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland saw England condemned to an embarrassing Euro 2016 exit that culminated in Roy Hodgson stepping down as manager.
England's Joe Hart and other players after defeat to Iceland
The inquest into England's latest tournament failure has yielded a number of theories and opinions, but former German international Hamann is under little doubt that the Premier League is partly to blame for extending the national side's agonising 50-year wait for glory.
Speaking as a pundit for RTE, the 42-year-old claimed that the worldwide coverage of England's top flight has created hugely inflated and unrealistic expectations.
Roy Hodgson has already left his post as England manager following their shock defeat to Iceland
"English people believe the hype of the Premier League," said the German. "Richard Scudamore and the Premier League company 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.
"Just because it's being watched all over the world, that doesn't make it the best product."
Hamann believes the Premier League is to blame for England's weak performances
Hamman, who played in the Premier League with Newcastle United, Liverpool and Manchester City, also believes the amount being paid by English clubs to players is a contributing factor to the national team's difficulties.
"Some of the players should light a candle every night when they go to bed because if they were Icelandic, Portuguese, Dutch or German they would struggle to earn a quarter of money they're on now," he said.
"It's not their fault that the clubs are paying that money. But it's over-inflated, the Premier League is a fraud. They pay world-class wages for above average players."