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Premier League boss Scudamore defends 'home-grown' rule


Scudamore defends new Premier League rules

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has hit back at Arsene Wenger's criticism of new squad rules.

In an effort to boost British talent, top-flight clubs must now have eight 'home-grown' players in their 25-man squad, with no limit on under-21s.

Wenger says the rule is "ridiculous" but Scudamore told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think Arsene, much as I respect him, has got a bit emotive on this one.

"There is a point at which you have to do something for the greater good."

The new regulations were agreed prior to England's disastrous World Cup campaign, although the national team's performance in South Africa this summer has resulted in a renewed focus on how best to nurture domestic talent.

In June, world governing body Fifa scrapped plans to require clubs to field a minimum of six home-grown players in their starting line-ups.

It is understood the proposal was dropped because the European Commission said it would contravene European Union labour laws.

But England's top flight is pushing ahead with its plan, which comes into effect on 1 September, leaving clubs facing a fine balancing act.

Under Premier League law, a player is regarded as 'home-grown' if he has spent 36 months or more with a club associated with the English or Welsh FA before his 21st birthday, or the end of the season during which he turns 21.


Wenger, who has signed a new three-year deal to extend his 13-year stay as Arsenal manager, is convinced the initiative is counter-productive.

"I've been educating players since I was 25 and I know one rule," the Frenchman said this week. "The first thing you do to develop a player is to put him with another good player. If you are a great player, you want to play with great players."

The 60-year-old also believes the rules play into the hands of players and their agents.

"I read that [Stephen] Ireland wants to go only if Manchester City give him £2m," he added. "That's because the new rules transform, even more, the agents into mercenaries. It is absolutely ridiculous and it is paralysing the market.

"Nobody buys. It is a joke. But they will create more rules like that, the 'home-grown' rule, which is rubbish. It is not linked with quality. Do you really think it will remain the best league in the world? No chance.

"The Premier League has to decide: are they here to prepare the national team, so let's kick everybody out? Or are they here to be the best league in the world?"

Despite Wenger's criticism, Scudamore is adamant the quota will benefit young players.

"What we're trying to do is get young players through. It's not about the top superstars", he stated.

"They can have as many under-21s as they like. It's not restricting the number of players - we're restricting the number of over-21s.

"What we're trying to do is make the marginal decisions go the other way. If you're about to decide whether to give a young player a contract or buy a foreign player, then all of a sudden you think 'maybe we'll err on the side of the young player'."

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see also
Wenger signs new Arsenal contract
14 Aug 10 |  Arsenal
Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
15 Aug 10 |  Premier League
New Premier League squad rules explained
27 Jul 10 |  Premier League
Fifa to scrap 'home-grown' plans
10 Jun 10 |  Football
League adopts 'home-grown' rule
08 Jun 10 |  Football
Top flight backs home-grown quota
12 May 09 |  Premier League
Wenger at 60
22 Oct 09 |  Arsenal

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