New squad regulations for this season
All Premier League sides will have to adhere to new regulations concerning the makeup of their squad this season.
Every club will have to name a first-team squad of no more than 25, of which a maximum of 17 may not be home-grown players.
The Premier League defines a home-grown player as a player who “irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).”
Therefore the likes of Denilson, Gael Clichy, Nicklas Bendtner, Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song all count as homegrown players, as well as the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs.
In addition to this squad of 25 players, each club may use as many under-21 players as they wish. The player must have been born on or after January 1, 1989 to be classed as ‘Under-21’ for this season.
Therefore players such as Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey do not have to be included in the primary squad, potentially freeing up spaces for older players.
Arsenal’s current first-team squad contains 26 players, of which 13 are counted as home grown, and seven are Under-21s.
The breakdown is as follows.
1 Manuel Almunia (May 19, 1977)
2 Abou Diaby (May 11, 1986)
3 Bacary Sagna (February 14, 1983)
4 Cesc Fabregas (May 4, 1987)
5 Thomas Vermaelen (November 14, 1985)
6 Laurent Koscielny
7 Tomas Rosicky (October 4, 1980)
8 Samir Nasri (June 26, 1987)
11 Robin van Persie (August 6, 1983)
12 Carlos Vela (March 1, 1989)*
14 Theo Walcott (March 16, 1989)*
15 Denilson (February 16, 1988)
16 Aaron Ramsey (December 26, 1990)*
17 Alex Song (September 9, 1987)
19 Jack Wilshere (January 1, 1992)*
20 Johan Djourou (January 18, 1987)
21 Lukasz Fabianski (April 18, 1985)
22 Gael Clichy (July 26, 1985)
23 Andrey Arshavin (May 29, 1981)
24 Vito Mannone (March 2, 1988)
27 Emmanuel Eboue (June 4, 1983)
28 Kieran Gibbs (September 26, 1989)*
29 Marouane Chamakh (January 10, 1984)
30 Armand Traore (October 8, 1989)*
52 Nicklas Bendtner (January 16, 1988)
53 Wojciech Szczesny (April 18, 1990)*
Players in BOLD = home grown
* = Under-21 for season 2010/11
(date in brackets is player’s date of birth)
Clubs must confirm their squads at the end of August when the transfer window closes, and can only be altered (without limitation) during the January transfer window.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore believes the England team will ultimately reap the reward of the new ruling, which he feels in unlikely to encourage clubs to hoard young overseas players.
“It’s not in the club’s interests to stockpile players. It will make buying home-grown talent more attractive,” he said.
“We’re not going down the route of a nationality test but what this will mean is that you just can’t buy a team from abroad.
“We think it will give clubs an extra incentive to invest in youth. We think that one of the benefits will be that it will help the England team.”
Former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe welcomed the Premier League’s new quota as being good for the long-term health of football.
Sutcliffe said: “I welcome the Premier League’s introduction of a home-grown player quota for squads and its implementation of strengthened financial reporting rules.
“These moves will encourage clubs to develop and bring through young talent and help ensure clubs are financially stable.”