Future of Club Football

Both UEFA and FIFA have been looking at club football to try to make it more competitive. Their aim is to try to spread the talent across that board, encourage youth development and ensure that national teams have a sufficient pool of players to choose from.

Unbeknown to many, any team competing in UEFA tournaments since 2006/07 have been complying with a UEFA ruling that states that a certain number of players in your nominated squad of 25 have to “club trained”. Club trained means they have to have been for three years at your club between the ages of 15 and 21. For the season 2008/09, 8 of the 25 have to be “club trained”, with at least 4 of those players being form the club’s own academy.

UEFA and FIFA in association with the top European clubs are in discussions to extend this rule to domestic football. This will make clubs to send in a 25 man squad list to the FA at the start of the season, 8 of the players must be “club-trained”, at least four through your own academy and a maximum of four through academies of other British clubs. As with UEFA clubs will have a “B” list, the B list will include only club-trained players from your own academy who have been with you for at least two seasons. This B List allows some clever avoidance of the rules, Arsenal named, Denilson, Fabregas, Djourou and Walcott all on the B list.

There are also discussions to increase the age at which players can join a club from another club without the first club’s consent. At the moment youngsters can leave before signing a professional contract and join another club. Arsenal signed both Fabregas and Merida on such basis, as well signing Anelka, Clichy and Traore with little or no compensation going to their clubs.

Adopting the UEFA rules is a half-way house, as FIFA wanted a strict 6+5 rule, namely 6 of the starting team must qualify to play for the national country of the club.

There will be a change to the rules sooner or later in an attempt to make football throughout Europe more competitive, so long as everyone is playing to the same rules that is not an issue. For this reason it is important that Arsenal have a top Academy at Hale End and it carries on producing top players. Then it is for Arsene and his coaches at London Colney to integrate these players into the youth, reserve and eventually the first team. Our avenue to bringing in cheap foreign talent will be closed or restricted.

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Posted on April 1, 2009, in Arsenal News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think you’re mistaking competitive with nationalistic. While not directly saying it, UEFA and FIFA are pointing squarely at the top four of the English Prem. Their hopes are that “club trained” will be English players. They cannot legally say they only want domestic players because that is a violationn of EU law. All of these “new rules” are Platini and Blatter’s rather underhanded, though cleverly worded, ways in which they hope to break the rosters of the Prem’s top four into a more English looking side rather than the ones presently where foreign talents far outweigh the locals. Blatter in particular has seemed to have some hidden agenda aginst Arsenal because of our lack of English players and his entire administration has always had one eye on us. Simply put they’re acknowledging how terrible Enlgish talent is compared to the rest of the Europe, without actually saying it.

    • northbanklegend

      What makes things very difficult to enforce is that in the UK, Welsh, N Irish and Scottish people are not and cannot be discriminated against, whislt under any FIFA/UEFA plan they will not be English trained.

  2. Great post!
    really usefull!

  3. Well, these are interesting thoughts. I think they are true. However, everything is
    relative and ambiguous to my mind.

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