Former Linfield manager David Jeffrey believes the Irish FA has neglected the Irish League and allowed it to decline.
Jeffrey left the Blues job last month after winning 31 trophies during 17 years in charge at Windsor Park.
"Football is at a crossroads - I feel the Irish League has been neglected by our governing body," he said.
"I know the international team is top of the pile but people have taken their eye off the eight-ball and I think local football was allowed to regress."
Jeffrey added: "There are fewer and fewer players from Northern Ireland making it in England and Scotland.
"At some stage the international manager has to cast an eye on the Irish League to bring through players.
"So let's take care of our own product. They talk about charity beginning at home, so let's start looking charitably at the Irish League."
Jeffrey announced in February that he would leave the club at the end of the season.
Warren Feeney was appointed just hours after Jeffrey's final game as manager, against Glenavon last month.
When asked if he decided to step down because did not feel wanted by the club, Jeffrey replied:
"I made the decision in the interest of the club, myself, the supporters and the players - I'm very much at peace and content with that decision."