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Home Grown Quota Could Temporarily Shut Platini Up

Now let me not completely rubbish the Frenchman; he’s got a semblance of sense when he talks about the disproportionate spending of Citeh with respect to its revenue. But beyond that, most of his rants reveal a sense of hatred for the ascendancy of the English Premier League.

Now on to the main item, which is the proposed home grown players rule that could be imposed as early as the next season. We already know that European competitions like the UEFA Cup ensure clubs field 8 homegrown players in their matchday squads.

The idea of homegrown covers either local players that come through the academy or players who’ve spent three years at the club before the age of 21. This would of course not be a problem for the likes of Ronaldo, who signed while he was 17. Arsenal would be relieved because of the amount of French/Non-English talent brewing in their academy.

But more importantly, this rule I think is absolutely brilliant in that it’s not too difficult for clubs to fit 4 home grown players in a squad of 11+7 and simultaneously gives the Premier League the ammunition to convince the other governing bodies in the continent that they are doing their bit to nurture talent.

The league will be as it is. Squads will have the odd token academy graduate to fill in numbers — after all we now have 7 subs as against the previous five. But most clubs do already have four homegrown players in their ranks. Even Man City, criticised world over for their cash splashing exercise, have their share of youngsters in Micah Richards, Joe Hart and Ireland who’ve come through the ranks. If anything, it would give Mark Hughes more breathing space (assuming he’s still around next season). The same can be said of West Ham, Boro and Everton. With O’Shea, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo and so on, we have little to worry about on that count.

The rule does absolutely nothing to change the landscape of the English Premier League, yet does a lot to give a solid reason to Platini and his cronies to believe that the League is not as evil as is being made out to be.