Is the Quota System Counter-Productive?

3 07 2010

Chelsea’s Michael Mancienne has the footballing world at his feet. In November 2008, as one of the country’s finest prospects, he was called up by Fabio Capello for the England squad ahead of a friendly against Germany. He followed this up last season by playing 30 games in the Premiership on loan to Wolves. Is he, however, set to become a victim of the Premier League’s latest edict – the quota system.

 The 2010/11 season will require teams to name 25 man squads that include a minimum of 8 homegrown players. That is to say, 8 players that have been registered with an FA affiliated club for three years prior to their 21st birthday. Premier League chief executive Peter Scudamore explains the reasoning thus:

”It will make buying home-grown talent more attractive. We’re not going down the route of a nationality test but what this will mean is that you just can’t buy a team from abroad. We think it will give clubs an extra incentive to invest in youth. We think that one of the benefits will be that it will help the England football team.”

There is, therefore, some reasoning behind the new ruling and it is fair to say the move was welcomed by many parties as a step in the right direction to safeguard football in this country. And then we come to Mancienne. Wolves are keen to take the player either on loan for another season or in a £4m permanent transfer. They can offer him regular Premiership football albeit in what may well be a struggling side. Meanwhile, the player himself is torn – understandably keen to stay at Chelsea in the hope that he has some chance of breaking through into the first-team, but fearing a season on the sidelines at a time when he needs to be playing football and progressing with his career. The fascination of course, are the motives of Chelsea.

Scudamore argues that ”it is not in the clubs’ interests to stockpile players”. Can he really be so sure of this though? Chelsea are a club struggling more than most to fill their 25 man squad. As only 17 non home-grown players over the age of 21 are permitted, those home-grown players on the books take on an added significance that has only been exarcebated by Joe Cole leaving the club. The temptation to retain players like Ross Turnbull, Sam Hutchinson, Daniel Sturridge, Scott Sinclair and Michael Mancienne will be huge even though Carlo Ancelotti would surely regard none of them as first XI footballers. Generous contracts may be secured, the prospect of first team opportunities will be floated. However, all the time the clock is ticking for young talents who, in the case of Sturridge and Mancienne in particular, could perhaps be enjoying regular top-flight action elsewhere. It begs the question – how is this benefiting English football?




5 responses

3 07 2010

I am 99% certain that the reason Chelsea brought Turnbull to the club was the fact he was English. He played on loan at Cardiff for a while without impressing. I certainly wouldn’t want him playing for Cardiff as our #1.

4 07 2010

Absolutely. I get the thinking behind the move but, if it means the biggest clubs in the land all insisting on having British talent as 3rd choice keepers, 5th choice centre-backs and 8th choice midfielders, is that really a progressive move?

4 07 2010

Is this a EPL policy of a UEFA one? If it’s EPL it sounds like Scudamore paying lip service to those who want the national team to be the pinnacle of the game, without really thinking the policy through.

12 07 2010
Radu Baicu

If Chelsea keep Mancienne in the squad, but on the sidelines, the club, the player and the national team lose in the long run. On the other hand, the current situation doesn’t really favor the smaller clubs, who would rather loan a top youngster from the big clubs, instead of promoting those raised in their own youth systems. Maybe this is the goal – encouraging a majority of clubs to train and promote better their own youngsters, as those already belonging to clubs like Chelsea, MU, LFC or Arsenal will be harder to get.

13 07 2010

must admit, i hadn’t thought about it from that angle – you may be giving the decision-makers a bit too much credit though. it will be interesting to see how it develops.. i imagine there will be success stories of the new system and victims of it.. it’ll have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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