27 July, 2010

New EPL Rule Giving Teams Fits

A new rule begins September 1st. No, it's not the Home Grown Rule (which requires 8 of the 25 spots on a senior roster to be registered for 3 years, prior to their 21st birthday, with a club, any club, in the FA or Welsh FA, regardless of citizenship although there is no restriction on players under the age of 21 on the roster).

Instead, we are seeing the first year of a ruling agreed upon by the 20 EPL teams which requires each team to submit a senior roster of 25 players by September 1st to the FA. This 25 man roster is the only player pool a team can draw from until the winter break.

Why is this a problem? Well Man U, for example, have both Anderson and Owen Hargreaves currently out injured. They will be better again by the break, but just how far into the beginning of the season will they be out? And what if they suffer a relapse after they were named to the roster? Man U would immediately be at a disadvantage of fewer men available.

Another team at issue is Tottenham. Currently, their two starting CBs, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, are chronically injured. King cannot train on a regular basis due to bad knees and therefore usually only features in games where his experience is needed. Woodgate is another story. Having been out for over 8 months with a groin injury that doesn't seem to get better. Despite numerous consults and surgeries, the 25yo may get better, but he also may retire from playing altogether.

Man City suffers a worse problem. Between them being linked to nearly every player under the sun, they have a squad that currently numbers ~40 players. Approximately 13 of those are "home grown" and with them currently talking of bringing in 2-3 more players, they have to unload several players or send them out on loan soon or they could have a lot of dead roster weight eating up salary.

Perhaps teams knowing Man City's issue are trying to take advantage of it, but regardless, it is a problem of their own creation and one they need to rectify quickly.

This can mean one of two things for this preseason, either we are going to see a mad rush of transfers in the final days or maybe there is a method to the madness behind Blackpool carrying only 18 players currently on their roster...


  1. And Portsmouth only carrying 14 going into the Championship soon, and expected to lose more . . . this would be a good time for Americans with enough work experience (USMNT,etc) to get over to England. Funds have caught up with them and unless you're Tottenham or Man City players are tight

  2. Well, the 25 player cap rule only applies to the EPL. The other issue for some Americans is that with the UK, players either have to show Euro citizenship (through their birth or from 1st/2nd generational ancestory) or show that they are contributing significant playing time to their national team (or will). With BB in charge, for the moment, that will limit the chances for several possible moves.

    The ones who really benefit from this are fringe UK players. Technically, some of the better players could get loaned out to lesser teams who are wiling to front some of the players' salaries so this can actually be detrimental to some player development.

  3. I think this could help US players college age. The FA team has more incentive to REGISTER them, not sign them to lucrative contracts, so they can put them in a youth academy, like when ManU signed Johan Kirovski(!). Then if they want to sign a promising 22 year-old,from whatever country, he will have already been registered for 3 years (non continuous, too, if needed) and can be named to the squad. I think designed to increase young English players but we'll see if that actually happens.


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