Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Premier League clubs for not having enough English players.
He cited Newcastle and Manchester City as two of the worst offenders in recent times regarding British players, branding the two clubs as a "disgrace".
The 34-year-old told the Daily Mail: "Having so few English players in the Premier League diminishes the English team, of course it does. Look at the Manchester City game recently against Newcastle. There was barely an English player on the pitch, three out of 22 starters. That is a disgrace."
One of those three starters, Newcastle's Steven Taylor, was subsequently banned for three matches following his dismissal for violent conduct, meaning that Newcastle did not field a single Englishman last weekend.
The former England centre-back went on to suggest that bringing in quotas could have a positive effect on the national side, although acknowledged the idea was unlikely to come to fruition given that EU laws prevent such a restriction.
"I would do what Turkey do, and have limits," he continued. I know that European laws won’t let a legal quota happen. So you can’t do that. But if you want to protect English football and its heritage and its future, something like that has to be done."
Turkey recently implemented a change in their ruling whereby a team can have no more than ten foreign players at a time, with only six allowed in the matchday squad.
Newcastle's decision to pursue a policy of signing predominantly foreign players is mainly down to the issue of finance. More specifically, the over-inflated prices that clubs often demand for their British stars.
Everton's recent £12.5million capture of Irish midfielder James McCarthy, a widely reported Newcastle target, is a shining example of why Newcastle choose to look abroad.
Newcastle picked up Yohan Cabaye for £4million two years ago and his outstanding performances for the Magpies very nearly saw him make a £20million switch to Arsenal, only for the move to be scuppered by some unusual tactics from owner Mike Ashley.
What is the logic in paying almost triple the price for a clearly inferior player, just for the sake of having a home-grown player on the books?
A quota forcing clubs to buy British would just send these already inflated fees skyward, as demand for these players would surely soar. How long until £35million is considered a sensible fee for players of Andy Carroll's quality?
Changes to have to be made if England are ever to succeed, but forcing clubs to buy English players is not the answer.
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