These are local clubs, for local players

Well, it had to happen. There have been rumblings of there being too many foreign players in the Premiere League, and people have been drawing analogies to the (relative) resurgence of Scotland on the international scene after the collapse of television rights fees in Scotland forced clubs to shop locally.

So of course the main thing is for politicians to get involved:

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.

Well of course they are. And Gordon Brown is no doubt aware that middle England, who are already inclined to dislike him on the grounds of being Scottish and obviously clever – to say nothing of being Labor and tainted by associated with Blair – will not look kindly on that sort of failure either.

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Fail to qualify for England? There’s nothing for you here!

Weak political cynicism aside, as noted above the Scottish game only went local because they were broke. The English Premiere League is in rude financial health (emphasis on rude) so that incentive doesn’t appear likely. And while there probably is a better balance to be struck in the number of players from England on a given team, that doesn’t do anything about the short supply of good coaches, the patchwork nature of academies, the declining numbers of youth players, etc., etc.

Addressing one part of the demand side of this equation might get more English players on the field. Presumably supporters hope to find the next Paul Gascoigne or Kevin Keegan; however if local content laws for things like Canadian music have given us Brian Adams and Celine Dion (not to my taste, may be to yours, chac’un à son gout as they say in Montreal), I’d be more worried about fielding an England team with the likes of Darren Anderton. An increase in demand usually prompts a regression to the mean.

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3 Responses

  1. you forgot alanis morrisette, avril lavinge, nickelback, sum 41, our lady peace and many other awful canadian bands.

    i openly profess my love for most things canadian – the good comedy, the fantastic scenery, their commendable appreciation for safety, the gravy/cheese curd/fries thing, the hockey goon, moosehead lager, you can’t do that on television, and the nova scotian flag. however outside of two good neil young records, nomeansno, d.o.a. and the fantastically unfashionable rush – the music buh-lows.

    mr. harper should perhaps push for a quality law to be twinned with the content law.

    (please note my refusal to comment on the tragically hip for doing so in any negative way ensures some sort of canuck fatwah, guaranteed)

  2. The zero hour approacheth.

    Best of luck tomorrow, lads.

    Nothing would make me happier than France & Scotland in and The Azzurri out. England out would be pretty funny too.

    Replica kits, wool plaid kilts, haggis for breakfast… do whatever you need to do to make it happen.

  3. Fuck.

    Sorry.

    The fact that they asked to play the match in kilts is still the coolest thing pretty much ever.

    Fuck.

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