FIFA / EU compromise emerges – Arsenal to benefit

Uefa has produced its alternative to the wild scheme of FIFA – which goes completely against EU law.

The UEFA proposal, which the EU has indicated it could well accept avoids the issue of the nationality of players and instead requires that clubs playing in the European competitions should include in the 25 man squad eight “home produced” players.

There are two vital points here.  The first is the definition of “home produced.”    This has nothing to do with accident of birth, or the birth of the parents or grandparents, but rather looks at where the players were trained between 15 and 21.

To qualify for a club playing in England the players would have to have spent 3 years in England during that period, which makes players such as Denilson, van Persie, Fabregas, Clichy and the like, all “English”.   Indeed these players would continue to be English if they chose to move from Arsenal to another club.

Secondly, it must be noted that this has nothing at all to do with the EPL, and clubs would remain free to play anyone that they could get a registration for.   EU citizens would have an open door as now, and those from outside the EU would have the chance of going to Spain or Belgium to get their registration within two years.

This is great news for Arsenal because it vindicates the Wenger model of world-wide scouting, bringing in younger players – as opposed to the Chelsea model of bringing in the “finished” article at the age of 25 or more.