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Clubs vote for 'home-grown' rule


Important to develop young talent - Mawhinney

The Football League has voted overwhelmingly in favour of implementing new quotas on home-grown players from the start of next season.

At least four players in every 16-man match-day squad will have to have been registered domestically for at least three years before their 21st birthday.

Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney praised the clubs for their decision.

He said: "This is a very significant day. Players coming through will have a greater chance to show their talent."

It won't have a massive impact in the lower divisions and I think it's probably another publicity stunt by the Football League

Grimsby Town boss Mike Newell
The new rule is in line with Uefa's approach and means players who have spent long enough registered to a domestic club will be considered as "home grown" regardless of their nationality.

Fifa had proposed a "six-plus-five" rule - which would have limited the number of foreign players to five - but this ran into problems with European law.

Mawhinney added: "I believe we are the first major league in Europe to have brought in this rule.

"This may not have a widespread effect immediately but it's about what happens in the years ahead. We agree with Uefa president Michel Platini that young players are the backbone of the teams.

Premier League must follow suit - Fry

"We are encouraged that many others in football and the media think this is a significant more forward."

The Football League proposal was voted in at a meeting at Derby County's Pride Park ground. Only one of the 67 clubs represented did not support it.

Mawhinney said: "I would like to compliment Football League clubs for having the foresight to make changes that will benefit the wider game.

"League clubs are at the forefront of developing young playing talent for the domestic game and are investing more than 40m a season in this important area."

Preston North End's Derek Shaw was among the club chairmen who backed the move.

"We are very much in favour of it," said Shaw. "At Preston, we want to be bringing our own youngsters through because it's something that we've not been doing as well as we should have.

"However, this rule can only help the chances of our young players establishing themselves in the first-team squad and there are a few lads looking to push their way through at the moment."

And Peterborough director of football Barry Fry hopes it is only a matter of time before the rule is replicated in the Premier League.

"I think it is good that the Football League are showing the initiative," he told BBC Radio Five Live, "and I'm sure the Premier League will look at it.

"Hopefully in years to come there will be a quota in the top flight too. We've got to adopt it if we're going to be a force in world football."

However, Grimsby Town boss Mike Newell was less enthused, telling 5 Live: "I take it with a pinch of salt. It won't have a massive impact in the lower divisions and I think it's probably another publicity stunt by the Football League."

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see also
Burnham demands football reforms
16 Oct 08 |  Football
Premier League 'hurting England'
11 Jun 08 |  Premier League
Fifa's quota plans concern Dein
01 Jun 08 |  Europe
SPL split over Fifa quota plans
31 May 08 |  Scottish Premier
Scudamore rejects Blatter plans
14 Jan 08 |  Football
Academy influx concerns Bentley
27 May 08 |  Premier League
England player numbers at new low
27 May 08 |  Premier League

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