I love this time of year. The Formula 1 season kicks off while the Premier League races onto the home straight. I also love it because of the international qualifiers especially when it’s the year before a major tournament. Traditionally this period marks the half-way point in the qualifying campaign and we get to see a relatively clear picture of who will qualify for the finals in 15 months’ time.
As Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England all won (against weak opposition) I got thinking about the comments of the FA’s Greg Dyke. He suggested there is a lack of “home grown” players competing in first team football matches in the Premier League, and is introducing new rules regarding non-EU players.
In a nutshell, Dyke has proposed that 12 home grown players should feature in squads instead of the current 8 with 2 of those players being ‘club trained’. Rules that permit non-EU players to receive accredited paper work will also be tightened.
This ruling will have 2 likely outcomes:
1) The best English players’ transfer fees and wages will have a premium attached thus making them l less likely to play abroad.
2) English players generally won’t benefit anyway as the graph shows.
The data illustrates that English players enjoy the fewest minutes in their domestic league with respect to players from the best performing international teams this season to date. Interestingly Ligue 1 has the second highest number of home grown minutes, pipped only by the Eredivisie, but more of its first team plays in the Premier League than in France.
With the new TV deal set to raise transfer fees and wages even higher it’s unlikely this rule will have any impact. If Greg Dyke has kept the watch he received from FIFA he should be able to monitor more closely the minutes of ‘home grown’ participation under next season’s new rules, though he may be able to count them on his hands.