Football: Let the best stay but get rid of mediocre foreigners, says FA chief

Football: Let the best stay but get rid of mediocre foreigners, says FA chief

LONDON - Greg Dyke, chairman of England's Football Association, has called for mediocre foreign players to be prevented from playing in English leagues at the detriment to local players.

The FA has announced proposals to cut the number of players from outside the European Union coming into the English game by up to 50 per cent, including banning clubs sending such players out on loan, preventing Football League clubs from signing them and making the appeals process much tougher.

Some 122 overseas players were granted visas between 2009 and 2013, 23 of them in the Football League.

Dyke told Sky Sports News: "Everyone recognises the present system is bust.

"The rules say elite non-European players - the very best - should be allowed to come in and we agree with that.

"What we are saying is there are a lot that aren't [the very best], that don't play that much and do take squad places and a lot particularly in the Football League disappear after a year or so. The system doesn't work at the moment.

"What we are saying is 'let the best players come in but give the rest of those squad places to young English kids.

"We still have the problem of good kids aged 17 and 18 and they are not getting enough competitive football so we are still looking at how we improve that position." The proposals are part of a number of changes recommended by Dyke's England Commission. He said he would make further announcements in October on plans to improve grassroots facilities and coaches.

The proposals on non-EU players would also mean only players from the top 50-ranked countries in the world could be signed unless the transfer fee is more than a fixed figure, either £10million (S$20.6 million) or £15million.

The issue of a fixed transfer fee is likely to be opposed however, as some players would be available for free if they are at the end of their contract.

The ruling would apply to all players from Brazil, Argentina, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australasia who do not hold EU passports.

The FA will now hold talks with the Premier League, Football League, PFA, LMA and the national FAs of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Dyke said he expected the other stakeholders to come up with their own proposals.

He added: "I think they will come up with other ideas. Everyone recognises the present system is bust. So they will look at it and come up with some ideas and we will look at them." A Football League spokesman said: "We will consider the consultation before responding in due course."

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