Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh for Chrissakes...

This is just unbelievable. So unutterably stupid it makes me cringe.

From Today's Guardian:

The Premier League is in discussions with Downing Street over ways in which it can increase the number of home-grown players appearing regularly for England's leading clubs.

Discussions have begun with senior advisers to the prime minister and James Purnell, the culture secretary, to try to develop a consensual "British solution" to the apparent decline in the number of British and Irish players in the nation's top sides. The Premier League is acutely aware of the criticism that will flow its way over the issue if England fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

(Takes deep breath. Attempts to calm down).

Ok, apart from the fact that there is not a whit of evidence that having more mediocre domestic players in the Premier League will increase the national side's fortunes, there is the tiny problem that in footballing terms, a "British solution" to an English problem MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE AT ALL.

I know Brown thinks of "Britain" and "Britishness" as a source of unity. But can it truly have escaped his notice that Britain encompasses four distinct and - let's be honest - mutually antagonistic national football squads?

There's a part of me which does want this to go through. Because I would *love* to see the backlash once everybody sees the result of this half-baked policy: an inevitable deluge of Scottish players heading south. Hey - they're cheap, and they're not evidently worse than the fringe members of McClaren's travelling freak show (Jermaine Jenas! Come on down!).

But of course, it isn't going to go through because the European Commission flat out won't allow discrimination based on nationality. The best anyone is going to be able to do is create rules about "home-grown" players. All this means is that the Arsenal model of taking in kids from around the world at the age of 16 so you can say you trained them as minors is going to spread far and wide.

UEFA knows that. The Premier League knows that. I guarantee you that Ten Downing Street knows it, too. This is just a pathetic piece of symbolism and showmanship from a Scots prime minister who will do almost anything to look as English as possible.


UPDATE: The final, absolute reason to oppose quotas has arrived: crease-headed idjit Steven Gerrard supports them.

As usual, it's the kids-won't-get-better-if-we-don't-give-them-a-game argument. True enough, but there's nothing stopping kids from going abroad to get a game. That's what everyone else does. Indeed, arguably, that's why everyone else is getting better and England isn't.

But apparently we need English Teams for English Players. For reasons that remain shrouded in mystery, Foreign Teams for English Players is considered to be completely unacceptable.

Insert your own Ian Rush joke here.


Blogger patcook said...

England also suffer from the fact that most of its population are reasonably well off. While the Brazilian kids are playing on the streets 24-7 with nothing else to do, British kids are at school or playing computer games or some other middle class activity with far less physical assertion.

Thats not going to change just because you force clubs to have more British players

12:39 AM  
Blogger Terry Duffelen said...

The headline is a give away. "British Players For British Clubs" is a derivation on "British Workers for British Jobs" which was the headline from an anti-immigration speech by Brown a few months ago presumably to win over Conservative Support. It was bollocks then and its bollocks now.

Still, if the story distracts people from the latest controversy over the British Government employing illegal immigrants as security guards then it has served its purpose I suppose.

4:09 AM  
Blogger Chris Paul said...

O- I was just htnking abouthtis myself. To paraphrase my thoughts on this (available at my blog footballisnotmygod.blogspot.com)

First half

Brown is a silly cunt.

second half rounds off with these ideas

1) Teams to take a more active role in community coaching. For the FA to pay for professional coaches, and ex-players, to work alongside school and local youth teams. Not as a one off, but regularly, week in, week out.

2) For all European club youth teams to consist of a large majority of national players, and, if they wish to recruit from abroad, to properly pay back the system that grew the talent. Effectively contributing to the game abroad, rather than just signing the cream of the crop. The same incidentally should apply in other industries. If the NHS benefits from recruiting foreign nurses they should pay back the third world states who have paid for their education.

3) Any proposals for limits on foreign players after youth level to be outlawed and the basis that they are silly, and illegal.


4) For all European teams to put a limit on transfer fees and wages. No-one, know matter how clever there feet and short the career, deserves to earn more than £50,000 a week. This would calm the transfer market, and increase interest in recruiting homegorwn talent… I’m open to being given a convincing moral reason why anyone should be allowed earn more than 50K a week. But I suspect that it does not exist.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Antonio G said...

Chris -

On the issue of restricting players wages...presumably if the big money didn't go to players the club would pocket it. There's hardly a guarantee that clubs would react by dropping prices. And I know I's prefer giving my dollars to players than to bosses.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Chris Paul said...

I'd apply this unworkable wealth cap soloution across all industries. Across all Europe but would have to suspend democracy to do this! Then I'd make the treasury's accounts books transparent to the public, then I'd go for the gypsies, then for the jews, then for the gays, then when I came for you you'd be down the park having a kick around...

3:48 AM  
Blogger Chris Paul said...

Or why ot play the game according to Kropotkin's ideas of mutual aid!


9:43 AM  
Blogger patcook said...

salary caps are a silly idea. the players are the entertainers.

Does Stevie G think he'll be better prepared for the national team by playing against the likes of Fabregas, Drogba and Ronaldo week in week out or playing against a bunch of championship guys.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You refer to the the Arsenal model of taking in kids from around the world at the age of 16... like it's great or something. arsenal have failed the youth of london by spending years devloping (ha!) mediocre talents like lupoli and aliaidere and owus-abeyie and tavlaridis and skulason (I could go on.) There really is something rotten with arsen wenger and his distaste for british youth. for every fabregas there are 3 or 4 crap kids that have denied homegrown talebnt the chance to be developed by one of their nation' great clubs. my message to wenger... give something back to the community you long nosed french pillock.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I like to Bet on Football from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! Football Betting would be so much better if you saw a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season and beating last season winners in a close fought battle for the title!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!

6:09 AM  
Blogger Chris Paul said...

Embedding BET ON FOOTBALL links into the BET ON FOOTBALL body of a message is a sure fireway way to BET ON FOOTBALL both annoy people and BET ON FOOTBALL drive traffic to a BET ON FOOTBALL FOOTBALL BETTING website.

Like I would know

11:32 AM  

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