Debate: In the wake of Greg Dyke's comments, should we introduce quotas for English players in the Premier League?


Click to follow
The Independent Online


What's going on?

Chairman of the FA Greg Dyke has warned that English football faces a precipitous fall in standards unless a range of measures are taken to reverse the decline.

"English football is a tanker that needs turning", said Dyke, pointing the finger of blame at foreign imports squeezing English players out of the top flight.

Would a quota solve England's woes?

Case for: National quality

Of the 150 players signed by Premier League clubs this transfer window, at a cost of £630m, only 34 were English. This speeds up a trend that has seen the percentage of English players at work in the Premier League decline from 69 per cent in 1992/3 (the league's first season) to just over a third now. Quite simply, we are watching English talent get sidelined. Players with real ability (Jack Butland, Tom Carroll, Steve Caulker, Wilfred Zaha, Ryan Betrand) are struggling to get on the pitch, even dropping down leagues for playing time. If we want a strong national team, we need to introduce quotas. Otherwise success - in 2022 or 2222 - is highly unlikely.

Case against: League quality

The Premier League is a global brand. Why? Not because it shows off the play of agricultural English center-halves (like Terry), but because it attracts some of the classiest footballers from around the world. Introduce quotas for English players and the brand will suffer. Not only that, but surely competing for a place with the best in the world can aid a player's development, rather than stymie it. If players are good enough, they will play - no matter where they come from. Invest in training up the English youth - don't force them upon teams.