New rules 'for the greater good' - Scudamore
Saturday 14 August 2010
Chief executive Richard Scudamore has defended the Premier League's new squad rules, accusing Arsene Wenger of being "emotive" in his criticism.
The new regulations, aimed at ensuring young British talent is allowed to thrive, require each club to nominate a squad of 25 players - with eight of them homegrown - although there is no limit on the amount of under-21s teams can use.
Arsenal boss Wenger described the rule as "ridiculous", claiming it was "artificial and has nothing to do with top-level sport".
Scudamore had a measure of sympathy with the Frenchman, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "In some ways I agree. For 12 years I argued for an open system.
"But there is a point at which you have to do something for the greater good.
"What we're trying to do is get young players through. It's not about the top superstars.
"They can have as many under-21s as they like. It's not restricting the number of players - we're restricting the number of over-21s.
"What we're trying to do is make the marginal decisions go the other way.
"If you're about to decide whether to give a young player a contract or buy a foreign player then all of a sudden you think maybe we'll err on the side of the young player.
"I think Arsene, much as I respect him, has got a little bit emotive on this one."
Wenger believes the rules could damage the league.
Quoted in several national newspapers, he said: "Instead of asking 'we have the best league in the world, how can we make it greater?' they wonder 'how can we make it smaller?'
"The rules they decide are a disaster for this country. Ridiculous. They are all artificial and have nothing to do with top-level sport."
Wenger, who has introduced the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas to the Premier League during his 14-year spell with the north London club, continued: "You have as many foreign players in Spain as in England.
"You can sign players from all over the world in Spain. Why do they still produce players and we do not? It's down to the coaching.
"I've been educating players since I was 25 and I know one rule. The first thing you do to develop a player is to put him with another good player. If you are a great player, you want to play with great players."
The Frenchman reckons the home-grown rule gives too much power to players and their agents and will lead to an increase in financial demands which are already "paralysing the market".
He added: "I read that (Stephen) Ireland wants to go only if Man City gives him £2million. That's because the new rules transform, even more, the agents into mercenaries. It is absolutely ridiculous and it is paralysing the market.
"Nobody buys. It is a joke. But they will create more rules like that, the home-grown rule, which is rubbish. It is not linked with quality. Do you really think it will remain the best league in the world? No chance.
"The Premier League have to decide: are they here to prepare the national team, so let's kick everybody out? Or are they here to be the best league in the world?"
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