In the 2010/11 Premier League season clubs will have to name eight home-grown players in their 25-man squad. To qualify for the rule a player must have trained for three seasons in England or Wales prior to his 21st birthday. Will Richard Scudamore’s new Premier League quota rules see the clubs have to pay inflated prices for average players just because of their nationality?
The rule is supposed to help local talent, but English players’ prices are already over inflated and this is just making things worse. The rules also seems to be slightly pointless as it does not stop clubs from taking young players abroad as they know they will achieve home-grown status if they train at the club three years before they are 21.
In my opinion it is just one more daft idea coming from the mind of Scudamore, who also mooted a 39th top flight game which would be played abroad much in the same way the NFL has visited London to play competitive matches in the last three years.
There are many disadvantages of this rule for the players. For example, Manchester City may be reluctant to let the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland and Nenad Onuoha leave the club because of their home-grown status, despite the fact that they are out of favour and reportedly unhappy at the club. In the same way Chelsea may hold onto the likes of Michael Mancienne and Jack Cork even though it is unlikely that either will play much for the Blues next season and would be much better off out on loan or to seek a permanent move in order to find first XI football.
If you look at the signings of Liverpool so far this summer you’d have to ask yourself whether they want the talent in the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling (also heavily linked with Rangers’ Danny Wilson), or do they want them because they are British?
Because of the new ruling players such as Joe Cole and James Milner have become the hottest properties this summer. Especially seeing as Chelsea have confirmed that Cole will be leaving the club at the end of the month. (He’ll probably end up getting that £100-120k-a-week that he doesn’t really deserve due to his nationality). As for Milner, he is arguably over-valued at over £27million just because of the fact he is a home-grown talent (not saying he isn’t a great talent) and his price could soar even further if he has a good World Cup in South Africa for the Three Lions.
Aston Villa themselves had to pay £8million for Fabian Delph in 2009, which is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a youngster and although he is a promising player it is arguably because he is English that his price was so high. Manchester United also arguably paid over the odds when they signed the relatively unknown (until he scored that own goal in Chelsea’s favour) for around £7-8million.
I think the rules could put off English clubs into buying local talent as they will likely be held to ransom every time. This could be much to the detriment of British talent as many Premier League clubs will go for the cheaper options and bring in promising teenagers from abroad. Take Arsenal for example, a squad littered with ‘home-grown’ talent all locally trained, but not many of them are English.
It is a bad call from the Prem and Scuadamore in my opinion and the rule won’t achieve the very thing it is supposed to do, instead prices for average British players will be inflated and clubs will probably be encouraged further to poach the youngsters of Europe.