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Life President
Oct 27, 2003
From the excellent Football Unlimited website (no, I'm not a Guardian reader!):

Europe's top clubs were today ordered to invest in homegrown talent under radical new guidelines agreed by Uefa designed to stop the rich getting richer.
After months of deliberation and fine-tuning, European football's governing body has agreed to impose specific quotas for locally trained players for Champions League and Uefa Cup matches.

From the season after next, four homegrown players must be included in squads for European club games - at least two trained by a club's own academy with a further two developed by other clubs within the same association.

Although the new ruling may not initially have much impact, it certainly will in four years' time. By the start of the 2008-09 season, the minimum number of homegrown players required per club will rise to eight - four plus four. In other words, almost one third of a total squad size of 25.
"Essentially football is not encouraging enough development of new talent and instead clubs are looking for 'quick fix' solutions and opting to buy players rather than train them," said a declaration presented to yesterday's Uefa congress in Tallinn. "In this kind of environment, football risks becoming more of a financial contest rather than a sporting contest."

Although many of Europe's wealthiest clubs - Chelsea and Arsenal among them - object furiously to being told how to spend their money and how to assemble their squads, particularly in today's fiercely competitive climate, Uefa received total support from among their 52 national federations for the controversial project.

Even the Football Association publicly raised no objection despite having considerable reservations about the idea. However, David Davies, the FA's executive director, was quick to point out that the ruling, which only applies to European competitions, would not be implemented in the Premier$hite.

Ideally Uefa want national associations to impose identical quotas throughout their leagues in order to create a more level playing field but Davies said it was a non-starter in English football, at least in the short term. "There are reservations in a number of countries and our view is that we have no plans to extend this domestically," Davies said.

"We are not in the business of gesture politics but we will discuss this with the Professional Games Board in early May. Will the object of these proposals actually be achieved? Perhaps all that will happen is that some clubs will go abroad to bring in players at an even younger age."

Barmy Army

Oct 27, 2003
Unfortunately teams like Arsenal are able to get around this. They've bought a bunch of young foreigners (Senderos, Van Persie, Fabregas, Cliche, Flamini) and by 2008-09 they'll be seen as home-grown. Ludicrous

Home grown should mean British