The opening round of the new Premier League passed with must to talk about and there was controversy around that did not relate to injustice on the pitch.
It was revealed in The Guardian that this past weekend had the lowest ever percentage of Englishmen starting in the Premier League, 34.1 per cent compared to 73.1 per cent in 1992.
This has been met with much dismay by the majority of fans in England and there haver been calls for a quota – this will never happen, as the current lack of English players is good for the Premier League.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the actual football here; I’m referring to the organisation known as the Premier League.
The men in suits that run “the best league in the world” will be more than happy with the influx of foreign talent and won’t care a jot about so few English players.
It is not an illogical train of thought to surmise that the greater number of imports in the league will stifle young English talent and the England national team will subsequently suffer.
Counter arguments to that particular stance claim the increase in quality should raise the standard of the young English players coming through.
While that also makes sense, the reality is England have become slowly less competitive on the international stage over the past few years.
Coaching at youth level has had the spotlight shone on it recently, which may be a wiser place to start than blaming the influx of foreigners.
Anyway, why should the Premier League care about the development of English players and the health of the England team?
It is an organisation that is there to make money for itself and the clubs in the competition it oversees, with absolutely nothing invested in the England team.
Teams such as Manchester City and Chelsea spending hundreds of millions bringing in the best talent from around the world makes ‘the product’ more appealing to international viewers.
More viewers means more lucrative broadcast rights deals – clubs in the Premier League are just getting the first wave of money from a record TV deal.
The Premier League is in rude health and is enjoying unprecedented success on a commercial scale. As long as the numbers are good, England can carry on struggling – that’s why there will never be a quota and the dearth of English talent is good for the Premier League.
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