New home-grown and finance rules
From the start of next season premier league clubs - and we will still be one of them - will have to play by new rules...
Each club will be required to have 8 'home-grown' players in their squad of 25, and this can be no more than 25 unless those extras also in the squad are under 21. Alterations can be made to the squad named, but only at the end of the summer and winter transfer windows, but these alterations must see this squad stay within the limits of no more than 17 players, out of the 25, over the age of 21 and not home-grown.
A player is defined as 'home-grown' if they have trained within the professional system in England or Wales for 3-years and are under the age of 21.
Chief executive Richard Scudamore, quoted on sky sports, believes this will make buying home-grown talent 'more attractive' with it acting as another incentive to 'invest in youth' that will ultimately 'benefit' the national side: 'it's not in the club's interests to stockpile players. 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 team.'
I am not convinced by the quality, well not of all, although some are said to be very, very good, but I would think that we - by the time next season comes around - will have at least 8 youngsters that have come through our system that have been with us for 3-years and are under the age of 21.
We had at least half a dozen, or more, graduates from our scholarship scheme over the summer, and this is a 2-year programme so it does not take a genius to work out that next summer would make 3-years... Producing and using our own players is always something we have wanted, we have started working more towards this in recent years so lets just hope we start to bare fruit in the not to distant future, and not just because 'we have to'...
Also to be changed, and these changes come in immediately; will be the way clubs are run financially.
Clubs must follow guidelines set out that sees accounts submitted annually, which the premier league board will then look at to ensure that each club can: 'fulfil its fixtures, pay off its creditors when they are due and also to meet obligations to the Premier League's contracts and partners?'
If these criteria are in danger or are not being met transfer embargos can be handed out along with the club agreeing a budget to work on - all is being done to ensure that each club is financially viable to sustain its existence essentially, he added: 'it's absolutely crucial that these clubs are run as ongoing viable concerns. These financial rules apply immediately.
'This is tied in, and we passed the rule during the summer, to a 'fit and proper person test'. At our club meeting last week, the clubs absolutely endorsed our position of not linking expenditure to income.'
These are changes to the top-flight game that are not going to do it any harm, are they?
Although there will now be even more attention paid to youngsters, or 'home-grown' players, which will then need the games governing bodies to pay extra attention to how clubs approach others - some flexing their muscles - to prise these assets away.
A greater transparency on the financial score does not sound a bad idea to me at all though! Whilst we might have had the glory in recent years as we all know we are well and truly now paying the price, had these financial rules been in place it would have been a lot different - hopefully now though we will see things much better for us, and other sides, 'chasing success' that could come at a price...
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