Football

Ferguson backs Blatter stance

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Sir Alex Ferguson is in broad agreement with Sepp Blatter that something needs to be done to encourage more clubs to develop their own players.

Blatter's answer to the problem is a controversial '6+5' initiative, in which clubs must field five home grown players in their starting line-ups. It is not a plan that has enthused the Premier League, with others suggesting it would be in contravention of EU employment law and therefore stand no chance of getting through.

But Ferguson will leave the political wranglings to the FIFA president, and said: "We totally support the principle of home-produced players. All countries should get round a table and agree that you should not lose the impact of youth on your club. You need to bring them through a system and you need to give them their opportunity."

He added: "If you don't all the money spent on youth academies is a waste of time. You must encourage development in your own football club."

In United's case, young players benefit from the excellent facilities at their Carrington training HQ, unmatched anywhere else in the country.

Yet Ferguson is not just talking about the very elite, it is the entire game he is looking out for.

"You always feel you get more loyalty from players you produce yourself," he said.

"But it is also about the fans. Every supporter in the country, from every team, loves to see their own kids coming through the system.

"It is a fact of life and we would benefit the game by doing something about it."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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