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August 2021

Fifa aim to help Barca with the new 18 player squad rule. Arsenal not affected.

By Tony Attwood

For a while it looked like Man IOU and Liverpool (previously known as the Insolvents) were going to come a cropper over the Uefa financial rules which aimed originally to make clubs playing in European championships be financially solvent.  But with those two, and Chelsea and Man City spending like they had money to burn (which is the case with the latter two, but not necessarily the former) I begin to wonder what is going on.

Because Man U and Liverpool are not just spending – they are spending on English players.

Now part of that could be because they are worried about the English 25 rule, through which only 25 over 21 year olds can be registered to play with the club, and with 7 of those having to be home grown.

This rule came in, as I understand it, because it doesn’t break the EU employment regulations, in that “home grown” simply means trained and nurtured by an English or Welsh club over a three year period.

Phil Jones is 19 and Jordan Henderson is 20.  Between them they cost £36m.  OK they won’t affect the 25s this season – so the clubs can continue to load up their list of players with older folk.  But as these two grow up a bit they can fit in as home grown players.

OK so far, but still it seems a rather heavy price rise, especially among clubs that don’t really have the money.

So here’s one possible reason.  Fifa – that most corrupt of organisations – is about to introduce a system in which squads are reduced to 18 and half the  squad must be “homegrown”.

Fifa and their chums in Uefa have long been annoyed with the way bigger clubs get bigger and bigger squads, keeping (as they see it) talented young players sitting around not getting games.  Indeed I had a Uefa official tell me that Arsenal were prime examples of this bad behaviour.  “Just look at their goal keeper situation.  Four highly talented keepers.  One plays, one is on the bench, and two never get a game apart from for their country.”    (Whether Uefa recognise what happened to us with keepers this year is unlikely – they probably didn’t even know we signed a German).

The new rule would be in keeping with the new Fifa youth development programme that was voted through recently.  It didn’t actually get covered in the UK press, but they are still arguing about who should have got the world cup.

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There is however a thing called the Player Status Committee which has ex-Football Association toady, Geoff Thompson as its top dog, and they are supposedly talking to the European Clubs Association about the new rule.  This new approach is a variation on the doomed 6+5 rule which said that six out of the starting 11 in any team would be homegrown – although the definition of that word is not quite set in stone.  As we have seen with the 25 rule, people like Clichy, Fabregas and the like can be homegrown if you sign them early enough.

The old 6+5 idea was clearly against EU employment law (although that didn’t stop Fifa pushing it through on the grounds that no government can interfere with football matters.  The EU thought otherwise, and the rule went).  The 25 rule that we now have came out of that failure, and there is a general consensus that it’s impact has been minimal.

So Fifa wants to go further, and if Fifa really can do a deal with the EU to bring in an 18 rule in which nine players have to be “home grown” the cost of English players will rise because most top teams in England don’t have nine “home grown” players.

But (and this is the twist in reality) I don’t think that Fifa is considering England.  After all Fifa hate England.  No, they are trying very hard to help out their old pals, Barcelona.

Last summer Barca went bust, and was unable to pay its players.  The story didn’t get huge coverage because it was so out of keeping with the official line in Uefa, and indeed in much of the UK media, that Barca is a god-like system and can do nothing wrong.

But as we kept on saying on this site, when you can’t pay your staff, you are only one step from the grave – and Barca were in that position.  Not even the nationalist Catalan banks would help for a while.

So those of us interested in such things have been waiting for a while to see what happens this year, and almost a year to the day after Barca hit the buffers they have come out with a deflecting statement, saying that they are going to reduce the club’s debt.

Javier Faus, the vice-president (finance) said that Guardiola would have “€45m for new signings, plus money that may be obtained from sales”.

That might not sound like a money saving scheme – but in Barca’s bizarre terms of reality it is.  (It also incidentally suggests that unless some of the sales are big names Barca could not possibly afford Fábregas – which really ought to be Arsenal’s reply to their annual rubbish.  “You might want Cesc but you are quite unable to afford him”).

The admissions from Faus are extraordinary from a club that has treated money in the same imperious fashion as it treats everything and everyone else.  He went on to say, “The gross debt has been reduced from €532m to €483m, and the net debt from €431m to €364m. We want to decide our future and to do so we must reduce the debt to acceptable levels.

“There has been a great effort, which will continue over the next two years, to reduce this debt … a millstone that is essential and indispensable. This will make Barcelona the most financially solvent club in the world in two or three years.”

This is of course tripe – and when your financial director says that with tiny reductions in a debt of €431m the club can become “the most financially solvent club in the world in two or three years” you know he has gone to another planet and there is no hope for the club.  It is, in short,  just plain gibberish.

Barca’s problem is that it has sold everything it can sell.  It can’t fill its ground, except for very big games, it can’t readily put up prices any further, it has sold the sacred front of the shirt, and its membership department and marketing team is work at full stretch.  It is as big as it can get (unlike for example Arsenal, who, as we saw the other day, has hardly started on the marketing road).  For Barca the knowledge is clear: if it can’t make money now, it will never make money.

But Barca could be helped enormously by the 9+9 rule because of their tendency to go for young players and bring them up through their academy, while other clubs have brought in players from overseas at a later stage in their career.

Barca would not be hindered by the 9+9 rule at all, but many English clubs would – and that’s why it is coming along.  The 9+9 won’t help Barca’s insane finances but it won’t hurt their academy.  On the other hand it will hurt the finances of some English clubs – and I think that is not a coincidence.  If Fifa really has got its thinking hat on, it might well have set up a plan that will boost Barca while reducing the power of some English clubs.   To survive the 9+9 rule the clubs have to have more English players.  But the price goes up, so they fail the Uefa financial tests.  A rather clever ploy.

So, maybe, just maybe, 9+9 here we come, and expect the price of young English and Welsh players to rocket.

I am now going away for a little while – Walter will be editing the site ably backed up by Dogface.  I won’t be answering any emails or even seeing the site since where I am going is so remote they don’t even have broadband!  But I hope to rejoin the fray in around 10 days time.  Tony.

A call to arms; let us sort out this refereeing issue once and for all

On the history site…

How every book and article gets the name of Arsenal’s second manager wrong.

Making the Arsenal – the story of our rebirth

35 comments to Fifa aim to help Barca with the new 18 player squad rule. Arsenal not affected.

  • Dark Prince

    In short, Arsenal wil be in problems more than any other club.

  • The Blaze

    Not really if the standards for homegrown doesn’t differ from what we have in the EPL. Then Arsenal wouldn’t be affected at all.

  • Shard

    @Dark Prince

    With our academy? How much will the players we don’t need be worth in the inflated market for homegrown players? What makes you say that Arsenal will have more problems than any one else?

  • Ron

    This makes no sense..i know what your saying but these comments are out of context. And for your information, the reason barcelona had an out of control debt is due to the ibrahimovic purchase, which cost them 60 million and eto and 235,000 a week in wages. add to that wages of other top players.

    But barca now are a money bank. wolrdwide fame, they made 120mill from champions league campaign alone, with 40 mill towards players and staff.

    Arsenal should spend to win and the rest happens. Also barca is supporter owned…if push came to shove they would sell their kidneys to keep that club alive.

  • Tristam

    We used 32 players in all competitions this season. We could not possibly play some 60 games a season with a squad of 18. They would all be exhausted or crippled by March.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- you’re highly overestimating our academy. Sure, we have good players comin. But other than Wilshere, no one else has proven to be world class yet. And you cant count Fabregas and Walcot or Ramsey as our academy players as they had been trained in different clubs for most of their youth and were ready for first team action when Arsenal purchased them. Plus there is the loyalty issue which you have when you buy foreign ‘home grown’ players, eg. Cesc, Denilson, Bendtner, Diaby,etc

  • Shard

    I’m referring to our academy talent which is still in the academy, or on loan. Afobe, Aneke, Ozyakup, Miquel, Bartley, Lansbury, Freeman, Murphy, Bunjaku, and a whole host of others. Sure some aren’t English but they are homegrown, and of course the ones that turn World class if any will not be sold anyway. But the rest. The ones we don’t need. They will be sold to other clubs who will need homegrown players simply to fill the quotas. That money can then be spent for our squad needs from the outside. So how do the homegrown quotas hurt us more than other clubs?

  • Shard

    There is also no loyalty issue as you put it. No more than would otherwise exist, and possibly a little less because of players having a long term association with the club. If you bought players for 20 million do you also buy their loyalty? Is that your argument? Would Cesc have stayed for so long if he didn’t actually love this club or have loyalty towards us? Van Persie who came all those years ago as a youngster? How have Diaby, Denilson or Bendtner shown any disloyalty for that matter? And Ashley Cole was of course so loyal wasn’t he?

  • walter

    they may have made a lot of money as you say but on my TV I read at this moment that for last season they recorded a loss of 21M euro. Incomes 420M – Expences 441M= loss 21M.
    Total debt= 364M euro at this moment.

    And that after having the best periode of their entire existence in the last 5 or 6 years. And still they cant make profit. After winning all these prices and getting all that money from winning things they still have a debt that big.

  • Richard B

    The machinations that are at play within FIFA and UEFA may be born out of different motivations but they are certainly aimed at hobbling the main culprits that they have identified within the EPL who they see as resposible for financial instability within the game and for the ‘trafficing’ and hoarding of young players. Chelsea were the original bete noir and Man City just added to their woes. Any club that drags the reputation of football through the mire (FIFA demand a monopoly over that) – and that may well be seen to include Liverpool and Manure via their messy and unpopular ownership shenanigans – are ripe for targetting with rules that make them squirm.
    However these clubs have had to sign up to them because they see the consequences of not doing so. The fact is that, as John Henry of Liverpool stated, Amercan owners are attracted to the EPL because of the tightening of the rules which makes the business more ‘predictable’ and planable (if that’s a word).
    However if you have left all of this planning to a late hour (Liverpool) or if your home grown talent hasn’t proved to be quite as good as you’d hoped for (Manure) then you have to spend big to rectify it.
    Of course Arsenal won’t be left unaffected by the decisions of the powerful – but they are some way from being in crosshairs in all this and the Clubs basic principle of custodianship offers exactly the template that UEFA have, very publically, praised.And that is why we should expect it to stay in place even under new ownership.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- i’ll explain why i removed the loyalty issue. The biggest reason we turned to a youth policy was so that we can nurture youngsters into superb players one day and they’ll help us win trophies as they progress more and more. But what we have today is though we have a youth policy, we have kinda become like a feeder club. Once our youngsters start touchin their peak, they want to leave the club. Denilson, Bendtner, Cesc, Nasri, Clichy are included in that category. And hence all the hard work that we have done to create world class players goes in the drain. And again we’re left with a bunch of youngsters whom we have to work on for another 3-4years. Thats really bad management in my books. Jus think logically, you only see that we make a heck load of profit in selling these hard made players, but the real losers are ourselves as we are losing our competitiveness everytime we sell our best players.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- plus you named so many loanees who yet have to prove anything. There are many academies like that in England but its only the best players that make it through. Tell me honestly, in Wenger’s era, which player other than Wilshere has come through our youth academy and learning the arsenal way since a young age and has gone on to play for the first team regularly?? No one. Thats why we need more of Wilsheres in our team than Fabregases. Thats a major difference in the youth academy of Arsenal and Barca. Barca have nurtured young players of their own kind since a long time, even Messi has spent most of his youth period in Barca. Thats why Barca holds the best youth academy in the world. Their young players are always talked about everywhere.

  • Shard

    @Dark Prince

    But the discussion wasn’t really about our academy players. You said that if homegrown rules come in it’ll be Arsenal that suffer most. The academy was just a way to say that we shouldn’t. So would you like to qualify your statement as to why Arsenal will be worse off than other clubs with the homegrown rules?

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- oh yes, i will also explain why i said that we are in trouble in the homegrown rule as well and how its related to the loyalty issue, our feeder club attitude and also the flawed youth policy i spoke about earlier.

    Have you noticed that our homegrown players in the 21yrs category are mostly not english?? Have you even noticed that Denilson, Bendtner and Cesc who dont show too much of loyalty towards our club are included in that home grown category?? As we already know that these 3 will not be with us for long. Wont it be a problem that we really cant sign good foreign players to replace them in the first team as they wont be included in the homegrown category. So eventually we’ll have to invest in some British players who again will be more costly than the usual foreign counterparts. Yes, no doubt we’re investing a lot in british youngsters but seriously, who among them are ready enough to replace Denilson, Cesc or Bendtner?? No one.

    Thats why teams like ManU, Liverpool are investing in British players who are ready enough to start in the first team. Thats smart managing. They have learnt that investing in foreign youngsters will create a lot of loyalty issues later on.

    We on the other hand, will never invest heavily on english players, simply bcoz our Manager thinks they are not worth the money which is demanded. And in this process, we’re losing out on the best english youngsters out there who are ready to play in the first team. Yes, our foreign players coming from the academy are homegrown no doubt, but the loyalty issues will eventually create a vicious circle where we create good homegrown players but they wont stay long enough and hence we’re back to square one where we again have to build up foreign youngsters.

    Though i believe that Wenger has started seriously look towards British players, but again the mistake is that those players are not ready to break in the first team. Plus if you have a close look at the british youngsters we have, other than Ramsey i haven’t seen anyone having any world class ability in them.

  • Dark Prince

    Also, there will be many who will argue regarding Walcott and Gibbs. But seriously, wasn’t Walcott a player for whom we had to spend a good amount of money for a 16yr old when we bought him?? Wat was it like?? A grand total of £7-10 mil way back in 2006?? Gibbs is not even near world class. Even in case of Ramsey, we had to pay up a £5-7mil. And as reported, ManU had out bid us and the only reason Ramsey chose us was bcoz his former coach adviced him to come here. Do you expect every coach to always advice their youngsters to join Arsenal??

  • Shard


    On the one hand you say that Denilson, Cesc, bendtner, Clichy etc cannot be called academy products, then you say that them being disloyal (how exactly have Cesc, Denilson and Bendtner been disloyal actually?) shows that the academy is fraught with danger. Wilshere simply represents the first of the British players coming through our academy system. His youth teammates are on loan and while they cannot be expected to have the same impact as him, they will have a chance at the first team squad. And that’s all they need to be. Squad players. even if the players you say leave. For right now, we have enough squad space to get in whatever replacements are necessary.. Some adjustments will be required due to the rules. But those will be a lot less than the adjustments required by other clubs.

    So ManU having to buy young players from outside to fulfill their homegrown quota is smart management and us who do fulfill that quota are somehow worse of with these rules?

    As for the disloyalty thing. Firstly, buying players from outside is no guarantee of loyalty. Less so if anything. And as far as the immediate output is concerned, yes perhaps the youth give us less output. But that is about the past. If players are disloyal, and they leave, they have to be replaced. there is no reason we have to go down the youth route again. The youth was brought on because we absolutely could not afford the older players. With our finances improving dramatically in the next few years, that will not be an issue, and we will have a healthy batch of youngsters too. Best of both worlds.

    You of course imagine that somehow all our current players will leave, we will not invest in the squad and lose out on Champions league thereby limiting our spending further and then the second batch of youngsters will leave making us a perennial mid table team. Which is more likely though?

    The club has people who are professionals at their job. They chart out the course of the club with great care and effort. Dissing all of that only as a source of cashing in on the general poor atmosphere around the club at the moment is highly symptomatic of someone who is, to use a cliche, a doom and gloomer.

    Really, all you have highlighted above is simply the risks of running a football club. Something we have been doing for 125 years. The risks of using an academy can be included in that. But it is largely recognised that it is far riskier to NOT have a viable academy.

    Our club is in a very healthy state, both on the field, and off it. The only clubs we are behind in terms of on the field, are all clubs who spend like there is no tomorrow, and perhaps for one or two there won’t be. And no other club is as well managed as we are off the field. In a few years, we will see the benefit of that. As of the academy.

  • Shard

    We outbid ManU for Phil Jones. That means we are wrong. If Ramsey disses ManU (who did not outbid us and Cardiff wanted Ramsey to join ManU) then also we are wrong.

    Walcott was bought for 5 million rising to 12 based on performances, which includes trophies. But again. ManU buying British players is smart management. Us already having bought British players somehow shows we are in a dangerous situation. You really are a ray of sunshine.

  • Stevie E

    @dp – I really have to agree with shard on this one, im not sure how buying an English player can be considered better management than developing an English player? Sometimes I respect the alternative angle you bring to a debate (as you know), but sometimes you make comments which are either meant to aggravate or show a true lack of understanding. I don’t think it’s the latter because im sure you’re an intelligent guy, so it can only be the former. If that is the case, why don’t you use your intellect as a constructive force as apposed to just simply being argumentative? Seriously mate, UA is trying to make a positive change and could use as many intellects on board as possible. Instead of playing games with everyone and acting like the class clown, help make this group (which you obviously value) into what it truly promises to be. You can ignore this, shout me down or outwit me, its up to you, but I don’t think im the only one who thinks like this.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- you fail to understand the reason behind the loyalty issues we have. The reason why i’ve never counted Denilson, Cesc or Bendtner or Clichy as our academy players is bcoz they came here in the later part of their youth periods. Hence, they aren’t as loyal to us. Hopefully, you dont need me to repeat the comments made by Cesc, Denilson, or Bendtner during the last 12 months. A player like Wilshere will never say such comments like that bcoz he’s been here for most of his youth period.

    The smart thing that teams like ManU and Liverpool do is that they buy young players when they are ready to play in the first team. We on the other hand buy young players when they are half ready and when they become ready to make an impact, they start to show their disloyalty, and we are in a situation where we have to forcibly sell them. Just think, we lost out on Cristiano and Rooney. They were young and were ready to play for the first team, but we didn’t want to outbid. Were they worth the money that ManU bought them for?? Definately yes.

    For further substantiate, i’ll give examples of our own purchases during the early parts of Wenger era. Players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera, Anelka and all the important players of that era were bought when they were young and pretty much ready for first team action. They didn’t require crazy money. But went on to become the best players of Arsenal.

    Look at our own present squad, who are the best players?? Van Persie, Nasri, who were bought when they were young and ready to start in the first team. Wilshere who has been here since 9yrs old. Our most consistent players are Vermaelen and Sagna, who were bought at the right age at the right time for a decent amount. And then there is Cesc who was already ready to break into the first team when he came to Arsenal. Thats the type of signings that Arsenal need.

    The half ready players we bought when they were young have never made it in our team. Even a Djourou is not yet World Class, compare him with Koscielny who was bought at the right time n he seems much better than Djourou. Look at Gibbs, bought when half ready, is nowhere near the first team. Denilson, Bendtner, though hav improved, have never become world class and all the hard world we done on them was finally repayed by some very good compliments last month. Look at Diaby, bought when half ready, never came to be world class, and he too makes comments which should be shameful to say the least.

    But i also will have to point out on the signings of experienced players who were bought at the wrong time. Arshavin for eg, bought when he was 28…past his prime and we only got half a good season out of him. Look at Squillaci, Silvestre, Gallas…all past their primes when we got them. We never got the best out of them.

    Though i respect the way we keep on producing quality players when we buy them when they are half ready, but we’re not benefitting from them in the long run.

  • Dark Prince

    The difference in signings i’m tryin to show is that ManU are buying the best ready made youngsters out there, and we’re buying youngsters who might or might not make the grade….

    Jus to make it more logical, we are in need of of defender, but the only team which has bought a good ready made defender is ManU. On the other hand, we bought Carl Jenkinson, who is not ready to start as of yet, and cant be assured that whether he’ll make the grade or not. So who’s the smarter club??

  • Cape Gooner

    With Tony away, are we allowed to go off topic? Just in case the answer is yes………..

    RvP spoke thus “Every year it always goes wrong in an identical way and that is frustrating. When you look at results in the last years, then Arsenal shouldn’t be talking about winning the league because too many times things have gone wrong. Sometimes you have to eat the truth and be realistic.

    He cannot say “the refs are crook” without risking dire consequences. However, his statement cannot be construed to mean “buy an English spine” or “sack the manager”. He is clearly speaking of something external to the club. How long before the others say similar things?

  • bob

    @Shard, Stevie E, DP: To distill for a moment – DP’s model is that a greater chance of success is achieved either by developing players from early youth or to splash for them (not silly money, but significant) when just first-team ready (which, if I might add, is the fruit of a consistently good scouting system). And, that getting a player in a later youth stage of development has proven out to: (a) run a greater risk of disloyalty or homesickness; (b) run a greater risk of being sub-par on the pitch. I’m not contributing anything new with this, but trying to re-state what DP last offered, which feels well worth the cool-headed further discussion analysis. So, for example, is/has it been true that there are/have been two stages of youth development – early and late – in which early has/has had a better potential result than late? And second, can “first-team ready” be scouted and readily identified; and, assuming this is so (given a good-enough scouting network), should we not be willing to splash, say, in the 12 million range (give or take 2-4 million) to get such a player? And, to that last point, is the 12M on Ox-Cham getting a first-team ready player? And if he’s not first-team ready, but late youth, then is this 12M too-risky when compared to using the 12M for an early development project or leveraged into a first-team ready player (or even an established star)? Hopefully some of this helps us further this key discussion

  • bob

    @Cape Gooner: I’m glad you brought in the so-called “external” because both internal and external have to be kept in play as we try to make sense in this transitional moment from last season-into opening x-fer window-into next season (starting with a CL qualifier). What your post raises for me is the need hereabouts to have a consistently broader understanding of last season’s “collapse” as the intersection of “ref-shite” (calls, non-calls, any resulting injuries)with sub-par/inadequate performance (by players and manager tactics). I think this interplay has to be grasped, even though it feels easier (and more satisfying) to reduce everything either to ref-shite (external) or to player/manager-shortcomings.

  • BobbyP


    ‘He is clearly talking of something external to the club’

    Why do you say that? My reading of his statement is the exact opposite, he appears to be clearly referring to issues within the club. Not sure that projecting your conspiracy theories on to van Persie has any value

  • Cape Gooner

    @bob: There were sub-par performances from Arsenal. I have no explanation for the early season performance against WBA. That isn’t to say there wasn’t one; dodgy lasagne seems like a common reason!

    However, ref-shite produces sub-par performances. Diaby’s reaction against Newcastle was totally unprofessional but totally human and predictable. Do we want players who can keep their cool under such provocation?

    How do you define “inadequate”. I don’t want another fight with Stevie E, but I say again Stoke are favourites when the game is played on grass that is too long to play the ball on the ground. I do not feel our performance was inadequate.

    Against Aston Villa we conceded twice, at least once through poor play. But our response was sufficient to win the game comfortably. Would you call that inadequate?

    Much of the criticism of players for sub-par performance is due to ref-shite, Arshavin being the obvious example. Fabianski away to Blackburn last season being another.

    Clear up the ref-shite and then we can talk sensibly about sub-par/inadequate performance.

  • Dark Prince

    Bob- ah, after all those debates and arguements, you finally seem to understand me a lot 🙂 you precisly explained my point. I was at loss of words to explain my point, but you put it at the best way possible. Thanks.

  • Dark Prince

    @Stevie- pls read bob’s post, he has put what i want to say in a better way.

  • Cape Gooner

    @BobbyP: He says that “every year it always goes wrong in an identical way”. If it was internal it could be fixed; if it is external than we should stop daydreaming about winning the league. Are you suggesting that the team of 2007/08 had the “identical” weaknesses as the team of 2010/11?

    His statement suggests he knows why things are going wrong. Funny he doesn’t say what it is. If he thinks it is a reason that is internal, why doesn’t he come out and say so? If he thinks the reason is the refs, we know why he doesn’t say so.

  • Dark Prince

    @bob- though, i do have one difference in opinion, and thats the amount that should be spend on a ready made young player. For me, the max to max amount i’d be willing to spend on such ready made youngsters is £20 mil…not a penny more than that. Though, in todays world, such players should be available within 15 mil easily. Is Chamberlaine a ready made player?? I dont think so, but he’s very very close to being one. He’s exactly what Walcott used to be widowe bought him. But still it took 4yrs for Walcott to really transcend to the next level. Though have to admit, walcott was used in the wrong position till last season. He’s not a good winger, but as a forward, he has shone like he did for last season. But is Chamberlaine a forward or a winger?? As far as i’ve read, he’s a winger, something which Arsenal is missing in their squad. But then again, does Arsenal’s formation (4-3-3) suitable for a winger?? There are many questions that has to be asked b4 we sign Chamberlaine.

  • FunGunner

    @ Tony
    Nice article.

    @ Dark Prince
    I think what happened is that you didn’t read Tony’s original post properly and assumed it was a complaint about Arsenal being unfairly treated. So you made a sarcastic comment to that effect. You then realised that you had misjudged the tone and message of the article but by then you had painted yourself into a corner. Am I right?

  • Shard


    Yes. but Dark Prince said that we’ll be in the worst position due to the homegrown rules. I asked him how he can justify that statement. All of the above that bob extracted from his answer still doesn’t answer how the HOMEGROWN RULES will cause Arsenal harm, and more than other clubs at that.. Disloyalty, ready/not ready, ManU buy so and so. All well and good, and closely enough related to the academy which provides the homegrown players, to distract that NONE of it actually answers the question. How do the homegrown rules coming into effect mean that Arsenal will suffer the most?

    @stevie E
    You definitely aren’t alone.

    @Cape Gooner
    I have to agree with Bobby P there. I didn’t see any talk of external factors there. That said, RVP very much did say something to that effect about a month ago maybe.

  • Dark Prince

    @Shard- you’re still not understandin how all this is related to what i’m tryin to say. First of all, the homegrown players that we have are mostly non english players whom we brought in during later parts of their youth stage and hence are not as loyal towards the club. Again, i give you the examples of Cesc, Denilson n Bendtner who are a part of our homegrown squad. But supposedly if all three leave, we’ll not be able to replace our departing homegrown players with other homegrown players who are ready to play in the first team, unless ofcourse we pay a huge amount. Thats why its necessary to build homegrown players from early youth periods of buy ready made young homegrown players like ManU n Liverpool are doing.

  • John L


    the academy that wenger built was always going to take time. wilshere is the first player to come through. they arent all going to make it but hes the first star graduate of the first k-12 arsenal class so to speak. we are now on a world class level in regards to our academy and its just starting to produce.

    van Persie is very loyal, ashley cole wasnt. race, nationality dont determine loyalty. personality, relationships etc do.

    cesc so far has been loyal, dont believe the hype!
    bendtner and denilson are frustrated at a lack of game time, so they want to move on, maybe not the most loyal, but understandable. as they are not automatic first teamers thats not the biggest loss. we could replace them. or hope frimpong, jet, bartley, coquelin etc can step up to squad level. not really that much weaker, and no problem with the rules.

    viera was an unknown, no one thought he was world class, wenger did. same with anelka, henry etc. those great players were not ready made in the worlds eyes, only in wengers.

    its not that i dont see what your saying its that i very much disagree! arsenal are in a great position for the future, even with new fifa regulations. we need a couple signings, we need a shake up with some of the squad players, we need improvements with our tactical awareness, but mostly we need a fresher vibe surrounding the club.

    but in no way are we screwed by our managemnt in regards to finicial fair play or by new ‘homegrown’ rules! compared to the rest our future is looking up!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Much as I hate using the comparison, our academy is running on roughly the same schedule as the Barcelona academy. Their academy dates back to 1979 and didn’t produce a truly world class player (Guardiola) for over ten years. After that, well the results speak for themselves.
    Ours (in its modern form) has been going for just over ten years and has produced Wilshere.
    Rules such as FFP and this 18 player rule suit Barca in European competition but in many ways they suit us in domestic competition even better. I don’t know how well we would fair being forced to field a team with six homegrown players in the lineup but I suspect we’d do a lot better than most of the league.

  • bob

    @Shard: DP may not have answered “the” question, but, speaking for myself, I found an interesting model and argument to examine there which has value beyond the question. In today’s context you label it a distraction. Ok, so be it. But going forward it’s a model that I find worth keeping in play. It either will or won’t be borne out by several test cases as we approach the transfer window. I’m sure DP will track that. No harm – in fact lots to gain – from finding useful and valuable contributions from anyone’s posts that otherwise might be off-point. Both the baby and the bathwater are worth their salt, so to speak.