6+5 or any hired gun?

The All Parliament Football Group (APFG) that I bored you with some posts back, spoke in favour of the FIFA 5+6 rule in their REPORT.
The 6+5 rule proposes that 6 of the 11 football players on the pitch have to be of the nationality of the country of the football club, or rather qualify to play for the national team of that country. APFG urged the Minister of Sport and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to lobby the EU “to facilitate the adoption of FIFA’s 6+5 proposal by football associations in member states”.
The APFG seem to up against a pretty strong force here (even if they unsurprisingly lured Sepp Blatter out of the box as the 6+5 proposal was not only “red carded” by the EU commission a year ago but was again dismissed by Jan Figel, the European commissioner for culture and the EC's highest authority on sporting matters even before having had talks with FIFA people and before his own ordered analysis was ready. According to an article in the Guardian he said "The Commission cannot agree to an illegal system," and "So, as long as Fifa keeps on proposing the 6+5 rule as it is currently formulated, the Commission will not be able to endorse [it] within the European Union. It's as simple as that: the 6+5 rule cannot apply within the EU."
So good luck with that project, APFG!

APFG had this as part of their agenda to develop the national game, and even if I don’t care too much for the national team I think that it's important that the clubs have some kind of “local” connection. We all ridiculed l’Arse some years ago when they fielded the first “English” side in history not including a single UK or even Irish player, but this is not a Wenger phenomenon any more. In fact, on average only 4 of 11 starting PL players are English (Chelskij, Manure, l’Arse and ‘pool average 2.6!). Some say that this is the overshadowing reason for the discrepancy between international success at club and national level (and what are the deductions you make out of that?).

Against Stoke our starting XI saw 5 UK players (Green, Tomkins, Upson, Noble and Stanislas) and even if late substitutions saw Sears and Collison upping that average, we are an average PL side in this sense. What will our stats be when all our players are fit and what does the Zola/Nani connection mean in this sense?

Are there other ways to secure a high representation of “local” players in a top 5 PL side? Or is it at all desirable?
I’ll be back with a post on the UEFA “homegrown player” initiative shortly.


Farbror the Guru said...

Interesting thought experiement:

How would the "England WC squad" do as a team in the EPL? Fighting for Top 3-5?

Ben Teague said...

I don't believe that the influx of foreign talent has effected the national team. It has just improved the club level, while the national level has stayed stagnant. If this foreign talent was detrimental to the national side, then why is 66' the only national achievement? The massive intake of foreign players has only really been since the early 90's, so there has been almost 30 years for England to prove its international credentials.

Farbror the Guru said...

I am inclined to think that the national team has suffered from the process. Maybe declined enough not to be able to beat the best teams in EPL.

I think that a lot of youngsters have their learning curve go all flat due to limited playing time.

Another interesting thing is: Does the public really want to reduce the satndard in EPL by limiting the number of imported stars?

Can the bloated club economies survive a cut in TV income due to less stars in EPL?

....doing my best to provoke you guys but I honestly think that english football has a scary future.

Ben Teague said...

I would go as far as saying that I think it has helped the England players, as now only the very best make it through to the prem. Even if many do struggle to get playing time at 1 of the big 4 there is still plenty of opportunities to grow as a player else where. Look at all the talent that the hammers have brought through over the last decade.

Joppe - said...

Ben: it’s a decent case you have for the national team having lacked ability for quite a while, still I think that a reduced number of players to choose from should affect the quality of any team.
As for the public acceptance, first it’s on average not a huge change. FIFA is talking about 6 out of 11 players and that is one less than the average in another very successful league – the Spanish (the important objections here is if these Spaniards are actually from Spain, but I’ll save that to a later post). Also, I think it would be hardly noticeable within the EPL, and maybe having only one team among the last 4 in the champions league could be acceptable to most.
Farbror brings up a very interesting topic in the “bloated economies”. I tried to address that in a previous post - http://bubble-view.blogspot.com/2009/04/economy-first-sports-later.html. The future is not all bright, at least not clear, for teams buying success with too much loaned money.

Ben Teague said...

I think if there is ever a legal work around that legislates for a 6+5 setup, it will apply to the whole of Europe. Therefore there may be less foreign "stars" in the prem, but this would also be the case in Serie A, La Liga and so on. And, due to the prem being the probably the biggest league in the world, i think it would still attract the top stars.
In terms of English players i think they have learned a lot from the foreign players, and if they can live up to expectation under our foreign coach, 2010 may spring a surprise!

Ben Teague said...

Just read this after my last post, and I can't see 6+5 happening while legal battles continue http://www.footballeconomy.com/archive/archive_2009_may_04.htm

Joppe - said...

Sounds like the best of both worlds then.

As you say the PL is the biggest/best league in the world as it attracts a lot of stars.
Is there a risk that the clubs are selling their soul at the same time- if there is one?

With the declining value of the £ and increased taxes there is a risk that we will no longer afford the top players that our youngsters should learn from.

Mediochre foreign players may still be value for money though - scary thought!

Joppe - said...

The football economy article is a take from an article on the FIFA site as was the Guardian article I referred to. Too bad I was too slow to post my last one... it includes the same "they would win" citeing.

Please come back now and again Ben, I enjoy your input!

Ben Teague said...

Joppe, I thought the article sounded familiar!

I have put your link on my blog, so I will be check regularly and will post.

If you get chance take a look at my blog, and link back.

Keep the good posts coming!