Sir Alex Ferguson on November 7, 2007 arguing for quotas on foreign players.
“For the good of the game in England, it would be good to see more home-based players at the top clubs,” Ferguson said. “There would be opposition from clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal, but I think if you asked a neutral, they would rather see more home-based players.”
Sir Alex Ferguson on August 7, 2008 advocating no limits on foreign player participation.
Significantly, Ferguson disagrees with those who claim the number of foreign imports flooding the domestic game is weakening the England team and cutting its chances of international success.
"It is nonsense to say that England does not have players capable of competing on the international stage," he said. "The hysteria surrounding England's non-qualification for Euro 2008 does not create the right atmosphere for good decision-making."
Yep, when you were behind Arsenal last year, it was alright to complain about the number of foreign players, self servingly couch it in patriotic terms. Now that your top player, a foreigner, after scoring 70 goals in two seasons while leading the club to two Premiership titles, threatens to leave; it becomes dangerous to talk about quotas.
He is worried that the gloom over England's recent stumbles could prompt what he sees as a potentially disastrous decision to meddle with the extremely lucrative, and globally admired, Premier League formula.
"It's vital that the game takes a step back and concentrates on making the right choices," said Ferguson. "We have the strongest and the most entertaining League in the world; we should celebrate that, not denigrate it."
This man should have been a politician. And I am surprised that the Guardian reports this bilge without remarking on his volte face.