As I revealed here back in July with my article titled In which I explain the “homegrown” rule so that even journalists can understand it the homegrown rule is, well, to be blunt, it’s fucking stupid.
Misunderstood by the xenophobic populace as a rule that is supposed to be forcing teams to play more Englishmen it is, instead, a rule which allows a team like Arsenal to dramatically name between 41 and 76 players (depending on which hysterical source you are reading). Well, I guess that settles it for Arsenal’s squad depth, eh?
I’ll explain the rule again, in the simplest possible terms, because I’ve read a lot of misinformation about the rule even to this day:
- No team may have more than 25 players over the age of 21.
- Of those 25 players, no team may have more than 17 “foreign-grown” players over the age of 21
- Teams can name as many under 21 players as they want. LITERALLY THOUSANDS.
- The rule doesn’t apply to Champions (or Europa) League, FA Cup or League Cup squads
The problem I find is that people are confused about the home-grown definition and what it’s supposed to do. Simply put, any player who went to an academy in England or Wales for 3/5 of the years between the age of 16 and 21 is a home-grown player and any player who did not, regardless of passport or the provenance of their father’s sperm, is not a home-grown player. They have to do this because the EPL is not allowed to have a straight up racist rule like “you must pick 8 people with English passports for every game” because it would violate the EU labor laws.
So, some funny things happen because of this rule: Cesc Fabregas, who father’s sperm is most assuredly Catalonian (at least according to chief sperm checker Xavi), is home-grown but Owen Hargreaves, who’s father’s sperm qualifies him to play for the English national team, is not. This happens because Cesc was trained in England and Hargreaves is the only Englishman to ever play in Europe, ever.
The other funny part about the rule is that it’s designed to give clubs with a robust youth program an advantage because the thinking is that they will bring more English youth up through their ranks. But again, this strength is also its “problem” because a club like Arsenal, with our insanely great youth program can name up to 76 players for the Premier League if we want.
So that’s the rule, that’s why it’s stupid, and this is the last time I’m going to talk about it until next year when the Premier League makes some kind of rule that you must have at least three freckled gingers on every team at all times or some such non-sense.
In the mean-time, what I did was took a look at every team’s submitted “25″ man roster and found the following odd facts that I’d like to report back.
Arsenal named 7 home-grown players to their 20 man, over 21 roster, and none of them are English (Bendtner, Clichy, Denilson, Djourou, Fabregas, Mannone, and Song).
The official roster on the dot com only lists 41 players, though the World’s Least Reliable News Source is claiming that we listed over 70.
Stephen Ireland is considered home-grown despite being born in Ireland on a Cork Cob because he started his career with Manchester City. He is also a huge twat.
Birmingham named 25 players and as if to prove just how English they are named 14 home-grown. One of those players is Swedish born Sebastian Bengt Ulf Larsson, who earned his homegrown status at, you guessed it, Arsenal.
Fat Sam never misses a chance to criticize other teams for not playing enough Englishmen and thus ruining the English game, which is why he named a team of 25 Englishmen.
Just kidding, he named 8 home-grown players in his team of 21. One of whom is Swedish born Martin Tony Waikwa Olsson who qualifies because he trained with Blackburn as a youth. Keith Andrews also qualifies despite being born in Dublin because he trained with Wolves as a youth. Jason Brown also qualifies despite the fact that he plays for Wales. And their 8th and final home-grown player is Jason Roberts, the 32 year old Grenada striker. Way to go Sam, you are really helping the English national team with your contribution of 5 whole Englishmen!
Oh sweet, sweet Blackpool, you have named 14 home-grown players in your squad of 24.
Wait, something is very strange. The Mirror only shows 14 home-grown players but I’m pretty sure that Marlon Harewood and Brett Ormerod are home-grown. Also, as I look down the list Gary Taylor-Fletcher counts so by my count they have 17 home-grown players.
Also, I am shocked that the Mirror got some facts wrong. Shocked.
Did you know that Fabrice Muamba counts as home-grown? That’s because as a youth he trained with… oh yeah, Arsenal!
Bolton also have named one American Footballer in their lineup with the surprise inclusion of linebacker Kevin Cyrill Davies.
For some reason, Everton only named a 21 man squad. Odd, especially since they have 9 home-grown players, including Tim Cahill who despite his father’s “Made in Britain” sperm plays for the Australian national team and qualifies as homegrown because he spent his youth campaign at Milwall.
FULHAM NAME 25 ACTUAL MEN TO SQUAD, NO ONE CARES.
Named 21, 8 are home-grown, and one is a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Gross, I can’t believe that I am talking about Gerrard’s member.
What will £300m in transfers get you? A 25 man roster with 11 Englishmen! Well, Shay Given isn’t English and I don’t think he counts as home-grown but it’s real close with him. According to wikipedia, Given signed with Blackburn in 1994 but I can’t find any record of that. Oh well, who really cares? The point is that if your club only spends £300m in transfer fees and pays ludicrous salaries, they too can name a 25 person roster replete with Englishmen and chock-a-block full of home-grown players.
And still have room for no less than 6 holding midfielders.
Uhhh… why does the Mirror list every other team except Man U? Jesus, they are lame. Why do I read this trash?
Newcastle named 21 people to their squad and two animals: Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan. Coincidentally, they are also considered home-grown.
Again, the window lickers at the Mirror (mirror lickers?) can’t seem to get their facts straight, but hey, when we are talking about whether Stoke have 16 or 17 home-grown players, does it really matter? They named a squad of 25 and they have 17 by my count (Danny Collins is home-grown, because Wales counts — HA HA SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND!).
Congratulations, you have the most home-grown players of any team in the League. Enjoy the haughty feeling that comes with knowing that you are producing such English luminaries as Ryan Shawcross as you stare into the abyss of relegation.
Don’t really care how many or why but I did notice that David Healy (born in N. Ireland, trained in ManU) also has an MBE. He received the awardduring the Birthday Honors in June of 2008 which he quickly made even more honorable by doing his flute celebration one month later during a friendly against Celtic.
What a guy.
The England B side also named 25 players to their roster, which is a bit of a surprise considering that we all thought they would need to trim in order to stay under. But then again, when you have Robbie Keane, Jermaine Jenas, and David Bentley on your roster you sure can fill spots.
Ok, I didn’t bother reading their roster.
25 and 10. Yay, go England.
Whoa, Wigan only named 19 players and only 7 of them are home-grown. They could have easily named at least 5 more players but they didn’t. I wonder why?
Oh well, a team of 19 isn’t going to cut it in the Premier League and I’m afraid that this is a pretty clear indication that they are relegation fodder.
See, even Wolves named 25 people. Get on the band wagon, Wigan!
15 of their players are home-grown though, good enough for second place (or maybe third) in the home-grown count. Yay, you too will be relegated!
BWAHAHAHAHA… how did I miss Chelsea? I have no idea. Maybe it’s because their squad is so small? Just 19 players? Maybe it’s because their squad is so small because they only have 4 (FOUR!) home-grown players (Terry, Lampard, Cole, and Turnbull) meaning that they have a limit of 21 players over the age of 21?
Oh Jesus, this just made my day. Thanks to the readers who pointed out that I missed Chelsea.