English Professional Football Association chief Gordon Taylor is again calling for a quota system to keep homegrown players in English football.
Currently, Premier League teams have to keep eight “homegrown” players on their 25-man rosters, but Taylor is asking for a quota that demands three players in each team’s Starting Lineup for every top-flight game.
Homegrown means either English or with a given club for three seasons before their 21st birthday.
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The quota request comes after the BBC conducted a “State of the Game” survey that dug into the international representation in the Premier League. He found that a third of all minutes in the Premier League are going to English players, and Taylor would like to see that number go up (For comparison’s sake, around 60 percent of MLS players are from the United States and Canada).
“It’s important to focus on starting line-ups,” said the PFA chief.
“We should be aiming for a minimum of three and ideally four. I have seen at first hand the quality of our young players. There’s a need for them to get regular first team football. Its like swimming – unless you’re in the big pool you’re never going to learn.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew said he would be open to the quota idea.
“I think England at the moment, all through the age groups, are very, very strong,” he added. “We’ve got fantastic talent coming through and I think the game’s pretty healthy at the moment. But you can never rest on your laurels and we’ve got to keep improving.”
The BBC survey asked a variety of pundits and coaches where the England national team would place if it played in the Premier League. Intriguingly, the average seemed to be 5th-7th, with the high vote a Top 3 and the low vote 10th. That seems a little doom and gloom, as the latest Three Lions roster featured a majority of players from the biggest names in the Premier League.
The bigger problem for England isn’t whether their players are playing in the Premier League, it’s their status as the 22nd most populous nation in the world (though plenty above them are poor at soccer and plenty below are outperforming England). “Soccernomics” says logic dictates that larger nations have more people playing the game and will rise above developmental boundaries, and that England has arguably overachieved in recent years.
What do you think? Big deal or not?