25 players: the definitive summary (I hope)


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You may recall that a few days ago we started to debate the 25 player rule that is imposed on the EPL next season.

I messed things up by getting it all wrong, and after that a number of correspondents wrote in correcting my error and putting forward the correct version.

The problem I had at the end of the debate was that there seemed to be several correct versions which were different, so I got in touch with Walter Broeckx and asked for his view, and he said he was as confused as me.

Since then several other readers have written in asking for clarification.  but I also got a summary from Alexej Behnisch and I found this version helpful.  By printing this version I am not saying previous correspondence was wrong – rather that if you are still confused this might help.

First, here’s the official announcement from the Premier League

Second what it means to Arsenal…

Starting date – Start of the 2010/2011 season.

Squad registration list must be submitted at the end of the transfer window:  31 August 2010, and then again on 31 January 2011.

Squad size limit – Maximum 25 players over 21 years. No limit for under-21 players.

Age definition – 1 January of the season’s starting year. 1 January 2010 for the 2010/11 season.

Home-grown quota – 8 of the 25 squad places can only be filled with home-grown players.  Thus, only 17 foreign-grown players (over 21 years) are allowed.

Home-grown (1) age – All club registrations before the age of 21 (at the end of the season).

Home-grown (2) home – All clubs registered with the English or Welsh FA.

Home-grown (3) length – Minimum period of 3 seasons or 36 months (continuous or not).

Over 21 years old as of 1 January 2010

Age Status
1 Almunia 32
2 Fabianski 24
3 Mannone 21 Home
4 Sagna 26
5 Eboue 26
6 Vermaelen 24
7 Djourou 22 Home
8 Clichy 24 Home
9 Song 22 Home
10 Denilson 21 Home
11 Diaby 23
12 Fabregas 22 Home
13 Rosicky 29
14 Arshavin 28
15 Nasri 22
16 van Persie 26
17 Eduardo 26
18 Bendtner 21 Home
19 * Gallas 32
20 * Silvestre 32
21 * Campbell 35 Home
Chamakh 26

Under 21 years old as of 1 January 2010

Age Status

1 Szczcesny 19 Home
2 Gibbs 20 Home
3 Traore 20 Home
4 Eastmond 19 Home
5 Ramsey 19 Home
6 Wilshere 18 Home
7 Walcott 20 Home
8 Vela 20
9 * Merida 19 ** Home

4 players (Gibbs, Traore, Walcott, Vela) would have to move to the 25-squad list for the 2011/12 season.

* Contract expires at the end of July 2010
** Another year needed to qualify for home-grown status

Source: http://abehnisch.com/squad.pdf

17 Replies to “25 players: the definitive summary (I hope)”

  1. We really should be in good shape. I don’t particularly care for the 25 man limit domestically, but as long as the rule is applied evenly, it’s hard to imagine a Club better suited to move into the new rule than The Arsenal.

    If we do make moves this summer, as long as we replace like with like – that is, a foreign player with another or an HG player with another – there shouldn’t be any worries.

  2. So that means we have 15 or 16 (if Merida is staying) home grown players in our current squad. Twice the number required.

    And if you look at the players who are just on the brink of first team football and who came trough our own youth academy and who all will be (or considered) home grown for the rest of their career even if they are foreigners we have done very well with starting this youth project.

    I think Merida would make a very smart move to stay at least one more year because it could mean that he can always come back to the EPL and can be considered home grown.

  3. Nice work Tony, can’t get clearer than that!
    I would love to see comparisons with other teams squads now to see how they fair. I’m not asking anyone here to write it all up, that would be crazy and way too time consuming but if anyone happens to stumble across them in the blogosphere a cut&paste will do the trick.

  4. Great summary and great news! Hopefully Arsenal fans will cut HG players, like Bendtner and Denilson, some slack after hearing this.

  5. Slightly off topic, as it’s not about Arsenal:

    If I have this right, Owen Hargreaves (remember him) though english, won’t be home-grown, having spent his early years in Canada/Germany – correct?

  6. Red Man, that’s how it seems to me. It is worded like this to avoid EU legislation which says you cannot select on the basis of nationality within the EU

  7. pls would this rule enable us buy players without offloading some.am also scare bcos most of the nonHG are injury prone pls Tony can u tell me or enlighten me more of what will happen if injury hits us the way it has done befoer

  8. As I read it Sammy we have lots of space in the squad for players. The under 21s are no problem because we can have as many as we like. And we have space as you can see in the chart for four more old timers, if no one leaves. Since it is likely that one or two will go – Silvestre for example, that would give us even more space.

    The under 21s don’t count so we can keep on bringing them in from the incredible reserve and youth team, and the transfer window rule is the same – so we can buy again in the Jan window and change the whole structure of the 25 if we want.

  9. Still amazed this doesn’t contravene the guarantee of free movement of labour within the EU. It does impinge on the employment opportunities for EU citizens living outside England or Wales.

  10. Merida’s situation might play into our hands to convince him to stay, if he has 1 year to qualify as home grown, then it would be to his advantage to stay with us at least 1 more season, if he moves to spain now, he can no longer meet the requirrments to qualify as an home grown player for a spanish club (in the champions league) and he wouldn’t meet the requirements to qualify as an home grown player anywhere.

  11. Hi tony, great article thanks for clarifying. Only thing is, the way I read it the extra ‘under 21’ players are only allowed to be supplemented to the squad from january onwards ?
    If so, will these players be happy just waiting around for the carling cup matches?
    Personally I don’t like the rule and think its just going to weaken the standard of the premiership, which is already on the downward curve atm.

    But we will be well prepared by the looks of it !

  12. @Top-gunner

    I don’t think that is what the rule means. that portion was not referring to “when” U21 players can be supplemented rather it referrs to “who” can be supplemented.
    That means any player yet to clock 21 by January of the year the season starts. The confusion arises because you can also update your list after the closure of the January transfer window.

  13. Does this now meen that the cut off point for proving yourself at a premiership club is 21(your either “good enough” to be named as an over 21 squad player or you bounce down the leagues).

  14. Hi, I’ve previously posted as just plain Mark.

    Tony, how come RVP isn’t a ‘home’? please

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