Like the tin says, find a way to make the English National Football team an international powerhouse with an after 1974 (the year they didn't qualify for the World Cup) date.
Just as the tin says, find a way to make the English National Football team an international powerhouse with an after-1900 date. Extra points if you can do it after they didn't qualify for the World Cup in 1974.
It is sort of in OTL? Not THE powerhouse, but certainly one of the major football powers?
Do everything possible to strangle international football in the cradle outside the Empire. Notably no one in the Empire plays football seriously.
If those dirty foreigners persist, change the rules. 12 man teams or some such.
End result. England is the dominant footballing nation in the world. The foreigners can keep their fusball, or soccer or whatever they call it.
There is maybe something in that. England's decline started when Yellow Cards were introduced and skilful player started getting protected rather than flattened.If those dirty foreigners persist, change the rules. 12 man teams or some such.
Perhaps such a change in culture could come about if, over the course of the 70s, England plays consistently well at the World Cup while West Germany gradually stagnates? Say, as others have suggested, England beats W. Germany in the quarter-final and then defeats Italy to reach the final, only to be beaten by Brazil. Then England beats W. Germany again in the play-offs for Euro 1972 and goes on to win the tournament. Finally, in 1974, England avoid failing to qualify (due to being seeded as one of the top four of the last World Cup) and take Poland's place in Group Four, reaching Group B in the second round to knock out W. Germany and progress to the final, beating the Netherlands and securing England's second title.
That sets up, along with the 1966 Final, four English victories over West Germany which clearly asserts England's position as the better team, while seeing England secure victory twice on home terrain would surely demoralise the Germans. Therefore, as the 70s come to a close and the 80s begin, in England ever greater amounts of funding and focus is given to the national team while, in W. Germany, football fans gradually move away from the international picture to focus on the Bundesliga as consolation.