Day: July 31, 2010

Football’s Latest Pointless Rule: The 25-Man Squad List

Arsene Wenger is today being quoted as stating that the new Premier League rule reducing squad sizes to 25, as being “a disastrous decision for football and for the players”. When the rule was introduced, the rules stating that Premier League clubs had to have a “Squad List” of just 25, with eight of these being “Home Grown”, it was seen as a great thing for the England football team. The idea was sound in principle, as those sides seen as being full of foreign players, and those teams that were seen to be stockpiling players would have to start to develop more English players, and wouldn’t be able to hoard players. In practice, the reality is very different, and for all the hype behind the introduction of the rule, it’s relatively toothless. In fact as rules go, it’s the on pitch equivalent of the Fit and Proper Persons Test. For a start, it seems to be aimed at the larger clubs, in terms of keeping their squad sizes down. However, the larger clubs are already used to the rule, as a very similar rule has been in force for the Champions League and the UEFA Cup/Europa League for over a decade. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and all the other regulars have been used to dealing with these limits for longer than the Premier League have even been...

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The Premier League 2010/11 Previews 4 – Blackburn Rovers: A Summer Of Silence

Blackburn Rovers finished last season in a creditable tenth place in the Premier League but, with just over two weeks left until start of the new season do Blackburn supporters have cause to be concerned that, this season, the trapdoor may be a little close for comfort? They have, after all, had an exceptionally quiet summer in the transfer market and, if the bottom half of the table does feel as if it is likely to be a pretty congested place to be over the next nine months, the dread possibility of a return to the Football League may loom in the back of supporters’ minds, though these doubts may start to recede if the club passes, as it is expected to, into new ownership although, as supporters of many other clubs will testify, moving into new ownership is far from a guarantee of future success. The Premier League winning year of 1995 is now a rapidly fading memory for Blackburn supporters. The club even suffered relegation in 1999 and took two seasons to get back into the Premier League. Ambitions of glory at Ewood Park have long since been tempered by the reality that the money of Jack Walker couldn’t go on forever. The club is still owned by the foundation set up in his name after Walker’s death in 2000, but it is up for sale and...

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