Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Playing away from home

Playing away from home

The impression given by the media is that foreign imports are more important to the English Premier League than to the other big European leagues of Italy, Germany, Spain and France. Depending on how you define foreign that isn`t entirely true.

Figures published by the PFPO (Professional Football Players` Observatory) for last season map the number of expatriates playing outside their native country in the big 5 European Leagues. As members of the European Union, whose citizens are free to live and work in other member countries, it is debatable whether movement of players between EU countries should be considered any more foreign than a Welshman playing in the English League. As in other fields though the English seem to have embraced this Europeanisation more enthusiastically than their counterparts.

The figures show a total of 1124 expatriates, from 86 countries, playing in the major leagues of Italy, Germany, England, France and Spain. Of these 434 are EU citizens working in other member states. 177 of these play in England, 97 in Germany, 65 in Spain, 63 in Italy and 32 in France. Of this total 103 are French, a half of which, 52, play in England. Holland 42 and Portugal 41 are the next largest EU expatriate contributors which can be fairly seen as players seeking to ply their trade in bigger, more competitive and lucrative leagues. Other than France relatively few players from the major leagues play outside their own leagues; 17 Spaniards (all playing in England last season), 15 Italians, 12 Germans and 3 English.

Of the 1124 expatriates, including EU players, 305 play in England, 244 in Germany, 213 in Italy, 195 in Spain and 168 in France. But strip out EU players enjoying the freedoms of European citizenship and the numbers look a little different. There are a total of 690 non EU expatriates plying their trade in the big 5, 151 in Italy, 147 in Germany, 136 in France, 130 in Spain and 128 in England. While the EU supplies the biggest number of players from within its 27 member countries the largest number of imported players come from just 3 South American countries, Brazil 163 (far and away the biggest single contributor of football talent to the main European Leagues), Argentina 104 and Uruguay 43. These 3 countries provide 310 (27%) of all overseas players. Central and South American countries supply 358 players(32%)in total - 112 play in Italy, 98 in Spain, 58 in Germany, 48 in France and 42 in England.

Africa is the other significant contributor of players at 156 of which 68 play in France, 33 in England, 24 in Germany, 18 in Spain and 13 in Italy. Combined with those players from Central and South America that represents 46% of all foreign players.

These figures are an interesting record of social mobility in the game but I am not sure there are any conclusions to be drawn from them other than the EPL takes more advantage of EU membership in this regard than other EU members. That is almost certainly due to more restrictive labour laws here than exists in the other major leagues allowing them to benefit more readily from cheaper foreign imports than the EPL. If anything it is harder for a foreign player, unless an EU citizen, to play in England than in Spain, Italy, Germany or France. If these countries tightened up their labour laws then the competition for talent would ensure that the number of expatriate EU players would be more even throughout the leagues though in reality all leagues rely on imported players to a not too dissimilar extent.

If Uefa`s apparent concern about foreign migration is really only about encouraging the development of talent within their domestic leagues it should first seek to close the doors to non-EU players plying their trade in Europe but then how much poorer would football in Europe be without the skills of the Brazilians, Argentineans, Africans and other talents that enrich our leagues? How much more does the game here benefit and encourage others to take up the game watching the skills of players like Messi for example?

Those skilled and dedicated enough to developing their talents should be allowed to be rewarded for that skill and dedication wherever in the world that maybe. If nothing else it`s a good way of distributing wealth from the game to those that are contributing much to its creation.



Join Vital Arsenal

Want to comment on this article? It's easy to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved (you can even win prizes!)

Message Board To visit the message board, click here. Get involved






*Try Vital Mobile FOR FREE for the latest news, scores, fixtures and so much more*

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Amos
Date:Thursday October 8 2009
Time: 11:40AM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Joshua v Klitschko?

Comments

0
Very good points in there but errr ...is it just my computer or is the first letter from each Paragraph missing?
FuiKaka
08/10/2009 11:45:00
0
Not to worry! It was just my computer ...when i refreshed it they all appeared :P
FuiKaka
08/10/2009 11:46:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Arsenal Articles

Most Successful English Trophy Hauls

Well the new season is definitely upon us as we go into October, and amongst the 10 most successful English sides in football history - there are a number who are unlikely...

Four In Team Of The Week (27/9/16)

Arsenal are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.

Vital Pre-Match - Arsenal v Basel

Arsenal came from a goal-down to secure what could potential be a crucial point after a draw at Paris Saint-Germain. After the Chelsea win Basel visit the Emirates on Wednesday.

Jenkinson Set For Training Return Today

Full back Carl Jenkinson confirmed over the weekend that he was set to rejoin the players for full training in today's (Monday) sessions.

Archived Vital Arsenal Articles

Vital Arsenal articles from

Site Journalists

Rocky7
Editor email
Profile
ClockEnd124
no email
Profile
Amos
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Champions League - Arsenal v Basel
Suggested By:
Arsenal win100%
Basel win0%
Draw0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 6 6 0 0 18 13
2 Spurs 6 4 2 0 14 7
3 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 13 8
4 Liverpool 6 4 1 1 13 7
5 Everton 6 4 1 1 13 6
6 Man Utd 6 4 0 2 12 5
7 Crystal Palace 6 3 1 2 10 3
8 Chelsea 6 3 1 2 10 1
9 Southampton 6 2 2 2 8 1
10 WBA 6 2 2 2 8 1
11 Watford 6 2 1 3 7 -1
12 Leicester City 6 2 1 3 7 -3
13 Burnley 6 2 1 3 7 -3
14 Hull City 6 2 1 3 7 -5
15 AFC Bournemouth 6 2 1 3 7 -5
16 Middlesbrough 6 1 2 3 5 -3
17 Swansea 6 1 1 4 4 -5
18 West Ham 6 1 0 5 3 -9
19 Stoke 6 0 2 4 2 -11
20 Sunderland 6 0 1 5 1 -7
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

Oct 2 2016 4:30PM : Burnley (a)
Barclays Premier League
Oct 15 2016 3:00PM : Swansea City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Oct 22 2016 3:00PM : Middlesbrough (H)
Barclays Premier League
Oct 25 2016 7:45PM : Reading (H)
Capital One Cup
Oct 29 2016 12:30PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 6 2016 12:00PM : Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Naijagunner20
2.wiganmadhead2
3.Omar Soares2
4.Omar Soares11