Arsene Wenger is an outspoken critic of the Premiership's new thrust towards domestic development of players which stipulates that a maximum of 17 non- homegrown players will be included in a 25 man squad.
He has said that the rule will 'force down' the quality of the Premier League and 'paralyse' the transfer market.
The EPL states "The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system."
The rule was brought into effect because it would give an opportunity for England to develop and expand their talent pool thus strengthening their national squads.
Already there are distinct rumblings that the rule is forcing players who are now on the fringes of their squads, for e.g., Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland to look elsewhere for first team action. It could also lead to court cases where FIFA's rule 15 allows players to terminate their contract:
* Section 15 of the Fifa 'Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players - 2010' states:
"An established professional who has, in the course of the season, appeared in fewer than ten per cent of the official matches in which his club has been involved may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause. Due consideration shall be given to the player's circumstances in the appraisal of such cases. The existence of a sporting just cause shall be established on a case-by-case basis. In such a case, sporting sanctions shall not be imposed, though compensation may be payable. A professional may only terminate his contract on this basis in the 15 days following the last official match of the season of the club with which he is registered."
"I would like to know, when they voted for that in the Premier League, if they knew this rule. If you have not played more than ten per cent of games, you can get in front of a FIFA committee that then decides how much money you have to pay to buy out your contract. That is a rule."
It again makes us question what is England's priority? The further development of the world's best football league or the fortunes of the national squad? My observation is that the homegrown rule makes the English Premier League's association with the national squad an artificial one. It just says any under 21 year player irrespective of nationality can train under the domestic system for three years to achieve eligibility under the homegrown rule.
That means you still can't guarantee an Englishman will find representation in the club's senior squad. The only reason why one looks forward to the Premiership is because it is a mecca for overseas players and after England's disastrous World Cup, the fans can still look forward to some top notch club competition. Imagine having a disastrous World cup and then trying to find solace in substandard domestic fare. Unfair.