by Tony Attwood
Although some further transfers can be allowed during the rest of the time that other countries have their windows open (it is obviously sunnier where they are), the bulk of our transfer dealings have been done – perhaps all of them.
As ever the next step is to see where we stand on the 17 non-home grown players and the eight “home growns” who are over 21, that we are allowed to have on the books.
The rules are the same as before – the home growns have to be registered by an English or Welsh club prior to a certain age – but they don’t have to be English or Welsh. Indeed being Scottish or Northern Irish in this regard is as much foreign as coming from Armenia.
History has shown two things. One is that there are always quirks in the rules – the case of Cohen Bramall last season was a case in point. He is as English as any Englishman and yet was not considered home grown because of a technicality in the date he was registered. A perfect example of the weirdness of the rulings.
As such it is a bizarre and quirky manipulative system, which was set up to accommodate EU rules while trying to make clubs hire more English players. And this in turn was set up in the belief that having more English players playing in the Premier League would help England win the world cup – despite the now well established evidence from other nations that having players play in other countries can often help far more.
Anyway the rule is the rule. So let’s see what a hash I can make of the numbers so far given that at the time of writing I couldn’t find anyone else drawing up the list.
|24||FW||Reiss Nelson||19||Under 21|
|26||GK||Emiliano Martínez||26||Home grown|
|28||MF||Joe Willock||19||Under 21|
|29||MF||Matteo Guendouzi||20||Under 21|
|32||MF||Emile Smith Rowe||19||Under 21|
|33||GK||Matt Macey||24||Home grown|
|35||FW||Gabriel Martinelli||18||Under 21|
Foreign = 17
Home grown = 6
Total = 23, thus two places available for “home grown” players over 21, unless we sell any of the foreign players listed above. I suspect though that this is now our squad, but I would add that not having the full complement of 25 players is not unusual – a fair number of PL clubs are under the 25 limit each season.
Tierney is a puzzle for me, (although much of the world is a puzzle for me as you will know if you are a regular reader). He was born on the Isle of Man, which although not part of England is, I think (like the Channel Islands) considered to be part of England for footballing purposes in terms of playing for the country. But he has played for Scotland. So is he English (home grown) or Scottish (alien)?
Being designated English or Scottish is not a formal process in the UK, since those of us born anywhere in the UK are British citizens. But for football, does this make Tierney home grown (Isle of Man) or an alien?
The rule is that the home grown player irrespective of their nationality or age, has to have been registered with a club affiliated to the FA or FAW for 36 months prior to his 21st birthday. So on that basis Tierney is an alien, just as Bramall was when registering with us. Crazy for sure.
One other point is that after the UK leaves the EU, we will be subject to different rules. As I understand it, players (Fabregas was an example) can join a PL side from the age of 16 if they are living in another EU country (subject to some safeguarding arrangements concerning their parents. But for the rest of the world the age limit is 18, so that thing that Mr Wenger used to do of bringing youngsters over aged 16 or 17 will then stop. The Home Grown limit, however is an FA and English Leagues ruling, so that will stay the same.
As far as I understand it.
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