A Look At UEFA's 6+5 rule, No Problem For Arsenal…

All of this non Arsenal and non England football has given me time to think - and time to think about the new UEFA ruling which may be in place in "stage one" by 2010 and "stage two" by 2012. Arsene does have a "foreign" legion at Arsenal many say and the media have been lavishing headlines suggesting that Arsenal would be the first club to oppose and the first club to fail at this criteria...

I've taken a good look at our squad and it's obvious that Arsenal are one of only a few clubs that can actually fulfill the criteria...

Let me explain.

Let's start by taking at look at the ruling itself.

The ruling says that by 2010, all premier league team will field no less than 6 "home-grown" players in a team of 11. The ruling is ambiguous at the moment, as I can see no indication of how substitutes, injuries and sendings off will affect this. But never the less, let's presume a starting eleven must have at least 6 home grown players.

What is a home grown player, I hear you ask? Well, a player from the association of where the league is set is immediately and obviously a home-grown player. This means that all English players are part of the criteria, yes, obvious, but also means that any Welsh, Scottish, Irish or Northern Irish players are excluded from the criteria. Interesting huh? Based on that criteria, you'd think only Theo Walcott and Justin Hoyte would qualify. New signing, Aaron Ramsey wouldn't and the rest of our team is not English...

However, you'd be wrong thanks to a stipulation is this rule, which also classifies a "home grown" player as one who is over a certain age and has trained in the association for a period of 5 years or longer. I see a wry smile, yes, you're right - that's where Arsene's youth plan comes in very strategically.

By 2010, the ruling will be 4 + 7 and in two years, how many of our players will have been trained with us for more than 5 years? Pretty much the whole squad. Players such as Ramsey, will have his years at Cardiff, as well as two years at Arsenal mean he qualifies as "home grown". Cesc Fabregas, who joined us in September 11, 2003, will have been with us for 7 years by the time 2010 comes and will still be under 25. This, I believe, means he will also qualify as "home-grown". The same can also be applied to any player who has been with us for a similar period of time and joined before they were 25.

As far as I can see, this means that Kolo Toure, Robin Van Persie and Gael Clichy would also apply.

William Gallas would not apply unless he applies for dual citizenship, as he age means he would fit outside the bracket. Dual citizenship is of course a "loop hole" in the idea. Almunia has already publicly said that he will apply for dual citizenship as soon as he can. How long does it take, I hear you say? It takes 3 years if you're married to a UK citizen or 5 years otherwise to acquire dual citizenship in the UK.

We have emerging "home grown" talent, and players such as Jack Wilshere, Jay Simpson, Nacer Barazite, Rui Fonte, to name just a few, would all be under 25 and have been with us for 5 years.

By 2010, we could have at least 8 of the current first team valid for "home grown" criteria. And by 2012, our emerging talent will mean we'll have no problems qualifying for the 6 + 5.

In fact, we would be one of the few teams that doesn't have to invest heavily in English players in the years to come...

Am I right? Am I wrong? To be honest, I don't know the exact details of the ruling, but if I'm nearly correct or anywhere remotely correct, then it will be a happy Arsenal come 2012...

Just a thought...

'Til tomorrow...]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[You've misunderstood the ruling....by quite a bit!

    To be 'home-grown' the players have to be elgible for the national team that the league is based in.

    Just playing for 5 year in a country doesn't make you home-grown.

    All the established players you mentioned are foreign and will always be classed as foreign.]]>

  • Michael Ballack

    Cesc won’t be eligibile because he won’t even be at Arsenal by the time the ruling comes into effect. He’ll be at a club that wins trophies.