The English Premier League have shot themselves in the foot using a pistol proffered to them by Michelle Platini. They have agreed [3] to the implementation of a quota system on the number of "home grown" players that a club must have in their squad. Players must have had to be registered for at least three seasons between the ages of 16-21 at an English or Welsh Club to qualify as home grown. That, though, isn't the damaging part. The fact that there must be 8 of these players in a squad of 25 is the significant hindrance.

Football is a competitive sport: there has to be an open market on who you employ, how much you pay and a respect of success. Whining about a lack of young English footballers in the Premier League makes a mockery of the sport. A fair analysis of the standards of many of the players under 21 marks them down as being substandard in quality to those from outside the UK. (A fact backed up by the number of home nation players plying their trade in the lower half of the Premier League and the lower divisions who used to be on the top clubs' books). This isn't a failure of the Premier League and teams should not be punished for this. This is a failure of the FA, for a lack of support of grassroots football, and the government's for their over-involvement in education these past 30 years.

The Premier League has been running since 1992, similarly the Champions League, (the renamed European Cup) both offer adequate incentive to any youngster who wanted to play football professionally. And it has. There are now many who are 'coming through the ranks' at clubs. Most though don't make the grade when compared to others around the world of a similar age (they also tend to be on the expensive side when compared to cheaper talent from abroad). Imposing archaic and illiberal restrictions on the make-up of squads won't solve this problem, it will merely weaken all premiership teams.