On Tuesday the Guardian reported that an FA proposal, led by Greg Dyke, to stop allowing English clubs undertake an appeals process for non-EU players not granted a work permit looks set to fail. The proposal faces strong opposition from the Premier League. The Guardian is quoted as saying that “The FA chairman’s belief is that the changes would allow more English-born players into top-flight clubs.” Three entries on this topic can be read here, here and here, where I collected data on 2,751 footballers from the start of this season (that is accurate up to the opening of the current transfer window).
It will be good news if this proposal does not go ahead. I outlined reasons for not regulating against non-EU footballers in the previous entries above and will outline the central points here again:
1. Non-EU footballers are not biggest problem in preventing young english talent reaching EPL football... EU players are! As of the start of the 2014-2015 season, the EPL has the lowest amount of Non-EU footballers (22.5%) when compared to the other big European leagues – Serie A (34%), Lique 1 (34.66%), Bundesliga (27.2%) and La Liga (26.5%).
2. The EPL has the highest percentage of players born in the EU (77.5%) when compared to the other Big 4 leagues, but has the lowest amount of national born players. The EPL has over double the number of footballers (231) from the EU but not from the country of the domestic league when compared to the other big four of Serie A (107), Bundesliga (102), La Liga (57) and Lique 1 (55).
3.The non-elite EPL clubs have 12% more national born players than the elite (those whom qualified for a European competition for the current 2014/2015 season). The elite have just over 5% more non-EU players than the non-elite clubs. Further evidence perhaps that the elite in England are seeking out the best players from inside the EU.
4.In terms of not having national talent on the books, Chelsea are bottom of the list of the 98 clubs in the sample, followed by Arsenal in second last position. EPL clubs make up 4 of the bottom 5, with Swansea and Manchester City being 4th and 5th last respectively.