All over today’s papers is the news that the Premier League have voted to introduce new rules on the number of English players side can list in their squads.
Anything announced by Richard Scuadamore, who continues to think that Game 39 is a good idea, must be viewed with extreme caution but this does seem to be a progressive step. From next season sides will have to register a squad of 25 players, no more than 17 of whom can be 21 or older without three years of continuous development in the English game.
This won’t pose as much of a problem to Fulham as it once could have done. From the first team you can select Murphy, Andy Johnson, Bobby Zamora and Paul Konchesky and then there are the players on the periphery of the first team picture. The likes of Simon Davies, Jonathan Greening and David Stockdale will probably see more playing time and if it encourages Roy to blood young prospects like Chris Smalling, Matthew Briggs, Wayne Brown and even possibly Rob Milsom and Keanu Marsh-Brown then that’s no bad thing.
Should Chelsea’s transfer ban remain in place, it might make things a little more interesting down the road.
Where the Premier League haven’t gone far enough is in their new plans to regulate club finances. There’s too much debt sloshing around in the modern game and most of it remains secretive. Since finances will remain declared only to the Premier League under these new proposals, the fans will once again be left in the dark. A club’s financial position should be declared publicly so that the supporters, who are putting their hard-earned money into the team they support week in, week out, know exactly how their club is being run. Too often, the fans – who will be there long after the latest overseas owner has lost interest – are the last to know about the crisis engulfing their club.