By Tony Attwood
It is quite hard to remember an interlull that had so much happening on the football front. We have had the new president of Uefa and some clubs unhappy with Manchester City over the way they were able to spend the money they did, Fifa unhappy with Chelsea and Manchester City and others over bringing in under age boys, stories about clubs paying out money for things that never happen, and some of the Championship clubs in revolt over the new TV deal…
And now we hear from a report which once again has surfaced in the Telegraph, that the FA are going to try and change the “home grown” regulation in the odd belief that it will improve their chances of winning something. And this even though the countries that do win things generally adopt exactly the opposite approach, being happy to have their players get experience overseas, rather than having them all cooped up in the homeland.
Strangely it is almost as if most of this has not been happening if you read the bloggettas, because there we mostly have rumours of transfers, transfers and then for a spot of variation more transfers. Indeed one could be excused for thinking that they were written by some sort of automatic program and the owner didn’t notice that the world was changing. But that can’t be, can it?
Anyway, back to the latest: the FA are pushing for a change in the home grown rule in the Premier League even if the UK stays in the EU (which the government denies is a possibility).
An HG player, to play in the Premier League, as I am sure you know, has to be registered with a club recognised by the FA or Welsh FA for three seasons or three years before his 21st birthday.
And, as we mentioned the other day the current plan is to get the Premier League to reduce the level of foreigners in the League from 17 per club to 13 irrespective of whether we stay or go.
The FA, rather like a classroom of 13 year olds who have just been told that they can pick their own teacher, their own classmates and come to that their own lessons, drew up their plans and imperiously told the Premier League how life would be after we leave. In reply the PL told them not to be so silly. The FA replied that this time it was the League that was being silly and it was going to impose its rules anyway, so there!
Arsenal have 8 home grown players in their 25 (Bellerin, Holding, Iliev, Iwobi, Jenkinson, Martinez, Ramsey and Welbeck). Chelsea have 9, Liverpool have 7, Manchester City have 4, Manchester United have 10, and Tottenham have 7. Manchester City’s four are Delph, Stirling, Stones and Walker, and their lack of HGs means they have a squad not of 25 but of 21.
Incidentally this means that if Arsenal want to bring in any more players they either have to be home grown, or being brought in to replace a foreign grown player. Thus if Ramsey goes, we have one space in the squad but it will have to go to an HG – which means all those tales about replacing Ramsey with an exotic foreigner don’t work unless someone else who is foreign grown is kicked out of the squad.
In fact it has been estimated that the introduction of the FA rule would mean 65% of players currently in the PL would not be able to play for an English club once it was introduced.
To try and soften the blow the FA then would allow the clubs to bring in any players from anywhere in the world up to the maximum number, irrespective of how often they have played for their country and how much they cost. At the moment cost, how many times the player has played for his country and the status of that country are all taken into account when considering getting a permit.
These plans are due to be introduced in 2021 with the delay giving teams the chance to sell players, although with so many players coming onto the market at once the prices that could be attained would be significantly depressed, while the cost of UK players would undoubtedly increase.
We shall see.
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