Football League Clubs will vote on the introduction of a ‘home-grown players’ quota at an extraordinary general meeting this month.
The proposal will be considered in a meeting at Derby’s Pride Park ground on December 18 with the rule, if approved, set to take effect from the start of next season.
The quota would require Clubs to include at least four players “registered domestically for a minimum of three seasons prior to their 21st birthday” in their 16-man match-day squads.
Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinney said:
“We believe it is time for the FL to make a clear and unequivocal statement of intent about the importance of developing young players in the domestic game.”
“The aim is to establish this principle by setting a threshold that our Clubs can accommodate and then to consider raising that level over time. It is important we demonstrate that, as a body of Clubs, our commitment to youth development is total.”
“Therefore, not only are we pulling out all the stops to develop these young players in the first place, we are also ensuring that they have the opportunity to show their talent in the first team.”
“Fourteen of the 23-man England squad that beat Germany in Berlin last week were developed by youth development programmes at FL Clubs. Looking ahead, we want to increase that proportion even further.”
The proposal has been put forward by the League’s board of directors and mirrors that of UEFA, rather than the more controversial ‘six-plus-five’ policy championed by world governing body FIFA.
PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor has applauded the FL proposals. He met with FL officials last week, and says:
“It is a welcome step forward, but I would hope it is only the first of many. The importance of developing young players cannot be under-estimated. The initial aim is to have at least four home-grown players in a 16-man squad but a more long-term aim should be to have four on the pitch.”
“The FL continues to support and promote youth development programmes, and we all welcome that. This is a positive step in the right direction and it is important that Clubs are encouraged to develop their own players. There is still some way to go, but the signs are good.”