Arsenal - Squad Rules OK?
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Squad Rules OK?

It`s not often I disagree with Le Boss though he can confuse me as much as anyone else at times. I can`t help but feel he`s rather unnecessarily getting his pantaloons in a twist over this season`s 25 man squad rule though.

As they have no immediate or even prospective medium impact on our squad it`s surprising but he`s been pretty vocal about it recently. Late last month he labelled the scheme a 'disastrous decision for football' going on to say "First, it puts many players without clubs. That's the mathematical consequence. Secondly, it puts the clubs in a weak position in the transfer market because when you already have 25 players and you buy another one, you know you now have to get rid of one.

"You have to calculate when you buy a player how much it costs to get rid of one. The big clubs will always have 25 top players and you will not stop that by this kind of decision. When the big clubs employ a player and he has to go to a smaller club there are only two solutions: the smaller club has to pay above their own potential or the big club pays part of his salary. In either case it's not satisfactory."

Now I don`t want to see players unemployed but frankly I don`t see much wrong with any of that. The average first team squad size in the big European Leagues is only about 25 to 28 players anyway and that complement has usually included a few under 21`s for which there isn`t any limit under the new regulations. It probably wouldn`t even have been considered an issue at all until Chelsea and more latterly Manchester City decided that the quickest route to success is to play a form of billionaire`s poker and attempt to buy up the market. These are the clubs primarily inconvenienced by these new rules.

If a player has taken the eye-bulging wages on offer at clubs such as these and then suffers the career crippling experiences of someone like Shaun Wright-Philips as a consequence then more fool him I say. They`ll still have their pension funds to fall back on and plenty of time to waggle their bling at whatever current hotspot night club chavs might favour. It`s not as though entirely new ground is being broken here in that Chelsea found they had to subsidise Crespo`s salary in Italy for quite a few years as a result of an injudicious purchase. Craig Bellamy and Shaun Given aren`t going to lose out financially but I take a bit of perverse pleasure in seeing that in their cases money isn`t buying complete happiness. If their careers are important to them then like any other employee career choices in the real world players need to take care about the decisions they make and their reasons for making them.

Earlier today Wenger expressed his displeasure once more at the squad rule citing the Fifa statute which allows a player to cancel his contract with `sporting just cause`.

"Do not forget that in England if a player plays less than 10 per cent of games in a season - which is a FIFA rule - you can get rid of your contract. I would like to know when they voted in the Premier League that they knew this rule. It would not count if you are injured. But if you do not play enough games, you can get in front of a FIFA commission that then decides how much money you have to pay to buy out your contract. If you are not in the 25 how can you play? Yet a player who doesn`t play more than 10 per cent of games can go to FIFA and say I want to get rid of my contract."

That ruling might be given more effect with the squad rules but it`s been there for some time and doesn`t apply only in England. It`s been one reason why it isn`t really possible just to dump a want-a-way player on the bench for a season to teach him a lesson in loyalty. But then why on earth would you want to keep a player you wouldn`t wish to pick for as much 10% of the available games? That would be just 6 games or less in an average season - less than 4 league games. What on earth is he doing in the squad?

The real effect of that is to pretty well oblige clubs with more than 25 players over the age of 21 to sell before they buy or possibly take a big loss. In that case they should be very careful who they buy and what they pay for him. Isn`t that just the sort of prudence, albeit enforced, that Wenger has advocated his entire career anyway?

Arsene`s on more secure ground for me on the aspects of the ruling which has an oblique effect on the potential nationality constraints inherent in the 'homegrown` element.

"The 'home-grown` rule is artificial, it`s nothing to do with standards" he told reporters last week "They will create more rules like that for home-grown players, but it`s all rubbish" as he continued "I don`t know whether it`s self-preservation, but it is not linked with quality. If you want to stay the best league in the world, every way of thinking has to be linked with how you can make the best even better. The Premier League have to decide whether they are here to prepare the England national team, and they have to kick everyone out, or are they here to produce the best league in the world? That`s the decision you have to make."

The present construction of the homegrown rule isn`t as yet too inhibiting which is why so few teams have fallen foul of it. Unwelcome though it is in principle, only if the suits were encouraged to extend this artificial constraint on quality would it start to pose any real problems. Can we trust them not to interfere further? Probably not, but that aside I don`t share Wenger`s concerns about these rules.

Together with the gradual impact that Uefa financial fair play rules will eventually exert on the ability of clubs to distort the player markets this is likely to provide a more favourable competitive environment for Arsenal. It will clip the wings of the 'loadsamoney` clubs and will to some extent level the playing field for the clubs outside the customary top four too. The more equal the competition can be the better it will be for the game as a whole.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 17 2010

Time: 6:38PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think the frustration coming from the boss is the frustrations of a football lover rather than the manager of Arsenal Football Club. When you get AW in a room to talk about football without the presence of 100 hacks and journos he'll really open up about his love of the game and with that will come comments on the flaws of it too.
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17/08/2010 19:20:00

I think he's been frustrated by his fruitless raid of the transfer market and can see a correlation with this squad rule. Didn't he mention something about the Stephen Ireland to Villa deal being complicated by his demand for 2m upon leaving and that he felt such incidences would be more commonplace than ever?
Little Dutch
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17/08/2010 19:36:00

Hey boys and girls. It's nice to be back into the football. Don't mind the draw Sunday, though it did mess with my hopes of us winning the entire season you know. Forget about unbeaten, I want 114 points, that's what I want. In other news, the team that plays up the road (or is it down) is 3-0 down in their qualifier with 30 minutes played. Meh...
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 20:25:00

I remember reading a very nice article about how the squad rules affect us, I though it was on swiss ramble, but I can't seem to find it now...
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 20:49:00

Here it is actually:
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17/08/2010 20:54:00

I think the boss isn't worried about AFC situation with the new rules. I think he's being neutral and critical.. Spud still down 3-1...LOL Come on Young Boys!!! more please!!! :D
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 20:58:00

Anelka got an 18 match-ban, Van Persie didn't have the greatest tournament and I feel KNVB should punish him with the same ban.
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 22:08:00

If a young player blossomes after the age of 21, then he will have to leave the club and the club will lose a talent; or the player has to accept to sit out and hope for the squad to be changed. So, it's going to be very difficult for clubs to make decision on players who are about to reach the age of 21. player like Mark Randall and Jay Simpson will be affected. If they choose to stay at Arsenal, they'll find themselves out of the squad. But if they choose to leave, the club who recruit them might have the upper hand to force them to accept low wages. Any thought?
far easter
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17/08/2010 22:23:00

No wonder you get so few comments on this site, your articles are far too long. If I wanted to read this much I'd buy the Times!
Paul - THFC Forever
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17/08/2010 22:32:00

Wenger continues to be a lone voice of dissent on this subject; unfortunately, until the full impact of the decision begins to manifest, the egg heads at the FA will stand their ground. I feel he has a point as it will tilt the balance of power significantly in any contract negotiation.

OT. Tee hee! I have more important things to do than think about trolling; otherwise, won't it be nice to see how they are doing at the VS site, seeing they were unable to stick it to young boys? Tee hee hee!! Big mouths!
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17/08/2010 22:40:00

That's o.k. Paul, we don't tend to invite the sun reading clientele here. You go back to your colouring in book and if you're a good boy and stay between the lines, perhaps those Young Boys won't be so nasty to you and play fair next week.
Little Dutch
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17/08/2010 23:01:00

Does this 25 squad rule extend to the lower leagues or is it just the prem?
insider says
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17/08/2010 23:02:00

insider, It probably does but 100% of all the teams in lower leagues should cope extremely well these regulations. A spurs supporter complaining about reading. You couldn't have made it up.
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 23:15:00

The squad list of 24 players over 21 at the end of last season in the link gaga posted above just shows how little problem this need be. 7 on that list have left or are leaving and 2 so far have come in leaving space for another 6 over 21s if and when they are needed.
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 23:18:00

@ Paul, Reading is hard eh ? No wonder .. *chuckles*
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17/08/2010 23:19:00

Paul THFC Forever (in our shadow) Levy must be fuming...1 more goal for you and he could have released a multi selling DVD.
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17/08/2010 23:19:00

The rule only applies to the PL clubs.
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17/08/2010 23:35:00

The last post was intentionally kept brief for the benefit of Paul Spud.
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17/08/2010 23:41:00

Sorry to ruin your evening Groaners by rectifying the situation. We'll comfortably qualify. I've just been informed by an associate that we can't draw an English club in the group stages, which means we can't draw you. Shame. Oh well, i suppose we'll just have to content ourselves with touring the open- topped bus with the sacred jug up and down outside Ashburton rubbish dump. If you ask nicely we might even let you grubby low life peasant scum applaud us. After you pucker up and kiss our feet :)
Tony Rocky Horror
Report Abuse
17/08/2010 23:58:00

Seriously now, when is this site going to have an ignore poster option, so simple to implement and so gratifying!
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 00:06:00

That post was too long TRH. Paul Spud won't be able to read it....not that he'd be too distressed. 7th in the Swiss League are the Young Boys - you're lucky they weren't the Big Boys.
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 00:11:00

Don't worry Amos we'll win the return leg. I went to boarding school and let me tell you, young boys struggle to keep clean sheets. Oh and nakcuh, it's called banter. We all do it. If you don't stick a sock in it i'll hoist you onto my drunken shoulders and drop you, agonisingly breaking your arm while a celebrate.
Tony Rocky Horror
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 00:30:00

You went to boarding school? That may explain a lot. No parental love, abandoned and unwanted, bully and abused by elder boys - no wonder you show such dysfunctional, psychologically flawed character traits. A tragic figure in so many ways......can't help laughing at you really.
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 00:59:00

TRH u didnt know the rule where clubs from the same country dont meet? It has been a champs lge rule for many years. Oh that's right....
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 03:20:00

i think arsene worry is that the new rule will weaken arsenal (and other English teams) against other European teams
Gooner SA
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18/08/2010 07:00:00

To a certain extent, I can understand Wenger's gripe, only insofar as it may restrict lower teams purchasing international players, perhaps in a team like Wigan. But, I think at this level, I doubt it has stressed managers out any further than the fact that it is different, and requires a different approach. In the end, if it results in teams like Man City and Chelsea offloading players on the cheap, it can only really benefit. I am really interested to see where the league is in five years. With the 25 man squad rules combined with the financial restraint rules, Arsenal are in a tremendous position going forward. We have never spent beyond our means, and our academy is years ahead of any other in the country. Exciting times indeed.
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 08:57:00

"Oh yeah baby. Surround sound = Check, Ready rolled columbian woodbines = Check, Stella Artois = Check, 5.1 surround sound = Check... Now bring on THAT music, give me a semi and away we fu***ng go!! COYS" Lol!!
Wyn Mills
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18/08/2010 09:46:00
Wyn Mills
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18/08/2010 12:15:00

Yeah, good one Wyn Mills. Another quiet day on VS then I take it ? FOYS.
Cockney Rich
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18/08/2010 12:28:00

Very slow. But that comedy show on last night was pretty awesome.
Wyn Mills
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18/08/2010 12:31:00

OT - Nasri out for a month. < /br> WTH????? We are CURSED.
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 12:35:00

If you think that being outplayed and beaten in a CL match by a ***** team is ' awesome ', then I think your are gonna be well pleased with what lays ahead of you this season. Believe me, when us and the other BIG teams get hold of you, it really will be AWESOME indeed.
Cockney Rich
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18/08/2010 12:37:00

Never mind 'lucky Arsenal', We have to be the most jinxed team in the land.
Wyn Mills
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18/08/2010 12:38:00

I was just thinking hmm, we were quite lucky Kos, then this flippin happens. Our best player in pre-season out for a month. FICK SAKE!! We didn't see the best of him against Liverpool because he wasn't partnered by Denilson or Song in midfield. This just ruined my pretty decent day.
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 13:36:00

TRH, you didn't know that you can't draw English opposition? I was going to say "d'oh", then I realized this is uncharted territory for you lot, so you wouldn't know that! The d'oh is on me. Oh, and you won't be drawing any opposition, English or otherwise, if you play anything like that again!
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 13:40:00

we are even popular in VA
Report Abuse
18/08/2010 23:59:00


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