Re: Too much football?
I think the unfortunate reality is that the ESL would ruin most domestic teams. The ESL teams would hoard players even more than they do currently, especially academy players, because they would have the most money at their disposal. While I agree in principle that getting rid of the oil-money teams from the PL would be a good thing, I think the reality is that the consequences would be more negative than positive.
I think salary caps are a dead end, unless every league buys into it. As soon as you introduce a salary cap into the PL, there would be a mass exodus. Even if you introduced a salary cap across all the top European leagues, there would still be an exodus, but everyone would be going to Qatar, China, etc. instead. And you can guarantee that as soon as European leagues introduced a Salary cap, MLS would abandon theirs in a bid to attract all the players looking for more money.
I really, truly believe that limiting squad sizes (particularly youth squad sizes) would make a big, big difference, without really needing to tear up the formula that is currently being used. There is a strong argument to be made that having as many young players training with the top clubs (and coaches) as possible is a good thing for English football, but I think this is completely negated when the vast majority of those players never see the light of day.
In my opinion, all senior squads should be limited to 23 registered players. If a player is loaned out, it must be a year-long loan, and there should be restrictions on the number of players a team can loan out to teams in the same division, as well as restrictions on age (for example, a team can only loan a player to a team in the same division if they are under the age of 23 and therefore considered a development player). This would put an end to teams like Chelsea hoarding players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley, and purely using them to make money. If a player is over the age of 23, you do not register them in the 23-player squad, and they are not loaned out, then you have to release them. If you must, you can have a tribunal decide a fee for the departing players that are still under contract. In order to not completely shaft the player, if the player is not picked up by a new team, the releasing club should have to pay their wages until the end of their contract (unless the player rejects an equal salary contract from another club).
On top of that, I think U21 and U18 squads should be limited to 23 players also. Players can be called up from the U21 squad and U18 squad into the Senior squad as and when they are needed, but ultimately you are limited to those 74 players for the season, which, in my opinion, is more than enough cover for the season.
The PL will want to avoid anything that diminishes the value of the league, but I think those rule changes would go a long, long way to improving the quality of football throughout the Football League, without having a significant negative impact on the quality of the PL (other than a financial hit for the top clubs who are farming out players).
What would (or at least should happen) is that a lot of the players who are never going to make it into the first team will start to trickle down the system. Also, since teams are a) restricted to only loaning out U23 players and b) only allowed to loan out a limited number of players to PL teams, there will be more good quality, young players loaned out to the Championship (and League One and Two). This in turn will have a knock-on effect, as the Championship teams start to release their fringe players, who will in turn filter down the divisions.
I personally think this would be the ideal solution to improve the overall quality of the Football League, without negatively impacting the quality of the Premier League. Unfortunately, it will never happen, because teams like Chelsea make far too much money from farming out players.
Next article in this thread: Re: Too much football? by SFC Jonny8/10 10:37Fri Oct 8 10:37:33 2021
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