Often Partisan

New Quota Rules Pt III

Firstly, apologies for the delay on this. Transfers have been so fluid it’s been difficult to keep up, and I’ve only just got to a point where I can write something. This is of course follow up to Parts I and II.

Now the transfer window has slammed shut, and all that remains is whether ‘Arry Redknapp’s fax machine was working prior to the deadline, I thought I’d take a look at three teams in particular, and how their squad has been affected.

First up is Chelsea. When I last wrote about the quota rules, I noted that Chelsea were one of the few teams in the Premiership with a surfeit of homegrown players. I expected them to go out and sign at least one or two British players, but in fact they did the exact opposite off-loading Scott Sinclair to Swansea City, and loaning out Michael Mancienne to Wolverhampton Wanderers. This leaves them in the disgraceful position of having just four homegrown players, meaning that their overage squad can only be a maximum of 21. Good job they’ve got just 19 overage players. Even still, I think this is a blatant disregard for the ideals of having players come through the academies, and they should be vilified for it.

I also mentioned that Manchester City had a few too many players. Man City are still two over the limit, with 27 overage players – and they have achieved this by not selling their extra players, but by loaning them out – Caicedo to Levante, Nielsen to Tranmere, Weiss to Rangers, Bellamy to Cardiff and Onuoha to Sunderland. So in essence, they still have the massive amount of players in their squad, and can easily look to shuffle them around a bit come the new year. Once again, it’s all about gaming the system to their advantage, and I suspect the remaining two players over will also be loaned out to Championship clubs in the next week – Shaelum Logan and possibly Michael Johnson or Stuart Taylor being the two who I’d think would go.

I mentioned Wolverhampton Wanderers as being over the limit too last time, and they still are; they have 27 overage players with four leaving on loan (Maierhofer, Vokes, Ikeme and Keogh), and Matt Murray retiring. Again, I think a couple more will leave Wolves on loans to the Championship to complete the trimming down to 25 players.

So what have we learnt? Basically, what we’ve learnt is that the new rules aren’t effective – it’s obvious that as much as some managers have moaned about them, they’ve used workarounds to ensure that they keep the squad as is, and not have to offload anyone to a competitor that they didn’t want to. Craig Bellamy moving to Cardiff was a case in point of this cynical ploy, for my book.

I’m not sure this is what was wanted when the rules were put into place, and I think something has to be done about teams with untold wealth and a sugar daddy chairman from hoovering up the available talent to sit in their reserves (or in the case of Manchester City, their “Elite Squad”), because this is only going to increase the divide between the haves, and the have-nots. I’m not sure though that this is what the Premier League wants, and I’m sure that no amount of bleating from me or the likes of Michel Platini is going to change things.

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