Saturday 7 March 2009

6 plus 5 - plain stupid

"Definition of 6+5
- At the beginning of each match, each club must field at least 6 who are players eligible to play for the national team of the country of the club.
- However, there is:
- no restriction on the number of non-eligible players under contract with the club,
- nor on substitutes to avoid non-sportive constraints on the coaches (potentially 3+8 at the end of a match)."

FIFA defines the 6 plus 5 rule as above. It is designed to protect the 'identity' of clubs and encourage the development of homegrown talent. For a number of reasons it will do nothing of the sort, it will simply result in mass mediocrity, more domination by the big clubs and less quality football at the top end. Strangely Sir Alex Ferguson has supported Blatter's moronic idea:

"You always feel you get more loyalty from players you produce yourself. But it is also about the fans. Every supporter in the country, from every team, loves to see their own kids coming through the system.”

So let's look at how Manu's current team would fare with the 6 plus 5 rule, when they played a strong side against Chelsea only three of their players would have been eligible to play for England: Carrick, Neville and Rooney. The same is true for all the other big Premiership sides, we often have no English players playing, Chelsea have three (Terry, Lampard and Cole) and Liverpool have only two (Carragher and Gerrard). Interestingly if we look at all these English players playing for the top English clubs then only four of them are homegrown and none of these were homegrown recently (Gerrard, Carragher, Neville and Terry).

It's not as if the other big European clubs would fare much better, for example Inter had only two Italians for their most recent league game (Balotelli and Santon), while Real had only one (Raul) for their most recent league match. There are the odd exception but the big European clubs generally have only a handful of domestic players in their starting elevens, of which a majority are big money signings from elsewhere.

Blatter is a corrupt and incompetent twat. He clearly doesn't like the Premiership and English football in general, strangely the likes of FIFA and UEFA never spoke of stupid new rules when Spanish and Italian clubs dominated Europe for years, funny that. His argument stinks, it has no logical basis. Enforcing a fixed number of domestic players will simply inflate the price of domestic talent, meaning that only a few big clubs can afford the top domestic talent, it will polarise things even further. It will also result in a drop in standards in all the top European leagues, the big leagues will no longer have such strong multinational teams and the Champions League will drop in terms of quality.

Perversely the drop in standards at the top will not result in standards rising at the bottom, or even in the middle. Smaller countries leagues will be decimated, as they will simply not be able to fill their league with domestic players. Traditionally some large footballing countries have been net exporters of talent in recent years, this has served to increase standards in many smaller leagues throughout the world, the 6 plus 5 rule will massively reduce this and consequently drop footballing standards across the board. Not forgetting the fact that lots of clubs that produce a lot of homegrown talent sustain their youth systems by selling on their product abroad, the 6 plus 5 rule will reduce the demand for foreign talent and therefore disincentivise this kind of youth development system.

Football is an international game and there is no place for backwards xenophobic rules like Blatter's poorly thought out 6 plus 5. 6 plus 5 has the potential to do a lot more harm than good, although some of the motivations behind it can appear reasonable at first glance, this does not excuse it's capacity for great damage. If we want a more communist style of world football system, where all leagues become poorer and football as a whole suffers, then 6 plus 5 makes sense. However if we want a system that encourages excellence and which results in some of the most sparkling sport ever seen, 6 plus 5 needs to be planted firmly in the dustbin. Blatter's motivations are obvious, he wants to make international football look better by making club football crap, this is no way to work. The fat waster should concentrate on ways to improve international football, rather than beating club football with a stick to sink it down to his degenerate level.


Anonymous said...

FIFA is in the business of xenophobia.

Unfortunately, they are trying to protect their chief asset - the World Cup and competition between nations.

Club football, at this point, is much more exciting, or due to the nature of seeing it more often, economically successful, etc.

FIFA is trying to keep the domestic leagues in their place.

Its a stupid fucking idea.


1979gooner said...


shows how dumb fergie is not to be critising the idea!

Lost Soul said...

sepp blatter is stupid. end of

Malikhan said...

As wenger said once (dont remember the exact words) that if he has to leave a player) solely based on his passport then that will be the da he will leave football.
Really, this is nothing more than idiocity on both the domestic and the international level.Stronger nations with more developed footballing infrastructures will fare better while the countries that have a lack of it but can export beautiful talent (ivory coast, nigeria and other countries) will be impeded.

a 6 plus 5 rule is a giant step backward in developing football as a non racist sport.i mean really, how can you say that the footballers should kick racism out when they themselves are being discriminated in their selection based on their citizenship.

this is bogus and i dont even know why they discuss it.

Si said...

I don't think it will be anywhere near as detrimental as is being touted.
I'm not in favour of it, but once (if it does) it comes into place, clubs, fans etc will get used to it as immediately as we get used to any rule change/law enforced in our beloved game.
Football is such a strong phenomenon that even when it is at it's least powerful and at its lowest ebb, its wounds heal very quickly and it moves on, as do we.
This really is not the end of the world, Arsenal will adapt as they always do.
Modern football is rotten, what can you do? Go and watch rugby? Bollocks.

Ted said...

The massive and glaring hole in any 6+5 idea is that clubs can abuse the system by registering foreign born players as "eligible to play for England" after, I think, 5 years residency in the UK.

Alumunia could play for England and would qualify as one of our 6 players.

France, Holland and England have all been excellent at convincing players to play for them who could also legitimately play for Algeria, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago etc. Zidane, Davids and Barnes any one?

Blatter's fuckwit plan could actually backfire completely. Any good kid at 14 will be taken to Europe and "made European" to get round Blatter.

The biggest loser under Blatter - probably Brazil, who have more players in the Champions League and can never qualify as "home grown", unless they take a European passport and play for the new country. So, conversely, the winner is likely to be Portugal - as every Brazilian around will play for Portugal instead.