Premier League clubs consider quota

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The Premier League may follow the Football League in imposing quotas of 'home-grown' players, Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has revealed.

The 20 clubs have accepted the need for boosting the number of academy products in first-team squads and are in talks over several options. These include offering incentives to clubs who use high numbers of players who come through the ranks or, more likely, a straightforward quota.

Parry, speaking in Geneva, said: "It was discussed at the Premier League last week after being put up by the Premier League board. We have not accepted a figure, just the principle that some minimum limit of home-grown players makes sense."

He added: "For those of us in the Champions League we could introduce it now and it wouldn't be an issue. Indeed the Premier League did produce an analysis which showed that actually a lot of the clubs would not have too much difficulty complying.

"It will certainly be given more consideration. It's a way off being decided but it was certainly a constructive discussion."

The Football League have already agreed that from next season at least four of the 16 players in match-day squads have to come through the ranks of clubs in England and Wales.

Clubs in the Champions League and UEFA Cup are already obliged to have eight home-grown players - of any nationality, but who have spent three years under the age of 21 at the club - in their 25-man squads.

The Premier League move is a bid to stave off attempts to impose spending controls and comes after the European Clubs' Association, of which Parry is a board member, shelved a proposal for clubs in UEFA competitions to be limited to spending a maximum of 50% of their turnover on wages.

The Premier League clubs will return to the issue at their summer meeting in June when a range of options on encouraging youth players will be put to chairmen.

A Premier League spokesman said: "There has been an ongoing discussion about raising the standards of youth development and progressing academy players but no definitive policy decision has been taken."

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