The reluctance by Sir Alex Ferguson to open his cheque book may have got nothing to do with the clubs large debt but simply due to the following new rules – “The Premier League will introduce a squad cap of 25 players and a quota on home grown players from next season. The 20 clubs have agreed the introduction of a home grown player rule which will take effect at the start of the 2010/11 campaign. Clubs must include eight home grown players out of a squad of 25” More Details are available HERE
A look at the official club site will show that United have in excess of 50 professionals on its books which makes the selection of only 25 in the Premier League squad extremely difficult. Ferguson must obviously be mindful of these new regulations which could be the reason why he’s hesitant to spend a fortune on big name, established players especially when the minimum “8 home grown players” are taken into account. It only leaves enough room for just 17 “others”
All the speculation about the dozens of players being considered is no more than gossip, generated by the media hungry for a good headline. Sir Alex is a wily old fox and knows exactly what’s best for the club. Remember, he has made repeated statements that there will not be many changes to his squad, going as far as admitting that the time has come for the young talent which has been patiently nurtured at the club to be given an opportunity.
The new rules may not have a major impact on the Premier League for a few more seasons yet but fair notice has been given to all clubs that the current situation cannot possibly continue forever. The lamentable performance by England at the 2010 World Cup is too fresh in the mind to argue otherwise. And it’s not only the Premier League that must take note, Italy’s Serie A is facing the same predicament while Spain’s La Liga is not too far behind.
This is not a new problem for club football. Italy faced precisely the same situation in the 1966 World Cup when it was eliminated from the tournament by the amateurs from North Korea. Unlimited foreigners were allowed in Italy’s Serie A at the time but the rules were soon changed until the lesson was forgotten. The Italians are now back to square one with England facing the same dilemma.
The dire situation that England is in at an international level is obviously none of Ferguson’s concern but he does have to work within Premier League rules. His vast experience should serve Manchester United well in this situation which may be the reason that he has concentrated on bringing in youth talent like Pogba and to a lesser extent Hernandez and the da Silva twins. Those youngsters will not help England’s cause of course but plenty of clubs will put more effort on developing English talent in the future.
Irrespective of what financial constraints – imagined or otherwise, he may be forced to work under, there can be little question that Sir Alex knows precisely what is required to keep the club highly competitive in the years ahead. His methods may be difficult to understand at times but nobody should ever second guess him.
Are the new Premier League rules good for the game?