Home Grown Rules to be passed in the PL!

The avid reader of Bubbleview (if there are any) may/should remember a few posts I wrote last May about the "trend" in international football to force clubs to have a "local" profile. The reasons were several, one being the concern for the National team and another a concern for the local connection of the clubs.

Both FIFA and UEFA presented their own way of making this happen. FIFA called their proposal the "6+5 rule" that I presented HERE and UEFA named their version the "Home Grown Player initiative" that I presented HERE.
I did a comparison of the two proposals HERE.

You may also remember THIS post on the AFPG - the All Party Parliamentary Football Group - on their document called "English Football and its Governance". In this document they advocated a FIFA-like system in English football.

Now it seem as if the PL has taken a distinctive step in the direction of forcing teams to have "home grown" players in their squad, as PL CEO Richard Scudamore says in THIS Sky Sport interview and THIS article on the Sky website and THIS article in Guardian.
The exact wordings in their new document is not yet unveiled and can of course make a world of difference, but a good guess is that from the next season clubs in the PL will need to have a minimum of eight home grown players in a squad of max 25.

The definition of home grown player is obviously of vital importance, and I suspect that the PL will go with the UEFA definition, i.e. someone that has been registered with the club (club-trained) or has been with a club from the same association (association-trained) for at least 3 seasons between the age of 15 and 21.

This will obviously increase the value of young talent and the hunt for international youngsters (that can be transformed into homegrown before they are in their prime) has clearly increased during the last transfer window, and we have just seen the beginning of it.

So how will this affect West Ham?
One angle is that our youngsters will be seduced by rich clubs and lured away, leaving us with very little benefit from the fruits of our "famous academy", and as we will not have the financial muscle to keep them or to be able to pay for decent players we are screwed.
The other chance is that any team with a good "conveyor belt" will reap financial rewards for this as the prices will increase for players they were about to lose to big clubs anyhow.

The ones really screwed, however, must be the poor clubs with a wanting youth program.
For a club to have a reputation of being a good place to go to prosper as a footballer can not be a bad thing and I'm inclined to think of it as a possibility rather than a death sentence.

EDIT: While contemplating this I suddenly remember what I wrote in the UEFA/FIFA comparison (see link above) that Jan Fiegel - the EU commissioner for sports issues - says that the 6 + 5 rule cannot apply within the EU as it would break EU working laws.
Good interview HERE.
He said: If FIFA were to impose the ‘6+5′ rule in the EU, any professional football clubs or players who felt that they were treated unfairly by the rule could take the issue to the Court. And they would win.
In what way this also applies to the UEFA proposal is uncertain as it does not take nationality into account but still sets a limitation on workers movement within the EU.

EDIT 2; HERE is the official PL presentation

The PL seem also to have set up rules for the governance of PL teams that may have fundamental implications for teams with a dodgy economy. More on that later.


Avid Reader said...

My impression is that any proposal aimed at strengthening national sides or increasing local connection will have a hard time getting past the European Court of Justice.

Joppe - said...

True, a hard time it will have (as Yoda would put it) and even though Figel talks in kinder words about the UEFA proposal compared to the FIFA version it will still need to pass the test of the EU-courts, I'm sure.