At the start of the coming season Uefa’s new rule which states that each Premiership club has to submit a squad of 25 will commence. This is a measure which is supposed to help the English game and bring through young talent. However, as we will find out in the coming weeks there are ways around this problem. The rule states that each side must name at least 5 players who have been registered to English or Welsh clubs for 3 years prior to turning 21; Uefa’s ideology is to place more emphasis on producing young players. However, this will surely encourage Ancelotti, Ferguson etc to bring in young European players at an early age and then let them develop.
The most intriguing example of this rule could be at Spurs where they have Jonathan Woodgate. He is eligible to be one of the 5 home grown players but is a major injury doubt for some of the season. Harry Redknapp must decide whether it is worth including him so he can spend money elsewhere and not be tied into buying English players. Similarly at Arsenal will it encourage Wenger to carry on gambling by investing in teenagers rather than proven quality?
Uefa clearly want to ensure that more emphasis is placed on English clubs producing their own talent rather than purchasing players from overseas. It appears that they have put in a rule with loop holes to avoid upsetting the bigger clubs. If the intention is to reduce the number of foreign players in the English Premier League they should just introduce a restriction. Unfortunately this is yet another example of governing bodies succumbing to the power the elite clubs possess. The new ruling is going to have little or no effect on the longevity and prospects on the league as a whole.