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August 2021

Blatter’s 7+4 restriction on foreign players won’t hurt Arsenal

The idea that FIFAs bizarre attempt to limit the number of “foreign” players who can play in domestic matches will easily get through EU legislation is bizarre.

But let’s assume for the moment that Blatter’s limit of seven foreign players on the pitch for any team at any one time, does actually happen in 2010/11.  What would that mean for Arsenal?

Not much, in effect, because the “English” players will include players that have had part of their youth training in England.

This will mean that in terms of being counted as English, we have such players as Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Denilson, Johan Djourou, Gael Clichy, Armond Traore, There’s also Manuel Almunia who could apply for a British passport because of his length of residency.

Overall not much of a problem for Arsenal.  But a bigger problem for Chelsea, who have no youth player development programme to speak of.

One interesting side effect is that this is going to be a rule about “English” players – so a Scots or Welsh player would be part of the “foreign” grouping.

However all this is a long way off, as there is no chance that the EU will allow the implementation of a rule that just rides roughshod over the rights of workers throughout the Union.  More likely the rule in the EU will be “at least 7 EU players” which will have no impact at all.

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