Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pioneered the practice of encouraging 16 and 17 year-old boys to join his club. The most famous of these young recruits, perhaps, is Spanish international Cesc Fabregas, who grew up training with Barcelona's youth team. The policy is now also widely used by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
UEFA President Platini is now working with the European Commission to impose an exemption to labor laws specifically for soccer that would prevent England's richest clubs from signing foreign players under the age of 18. "I have told the European Commission that we should ban the transfer of minors," Platini said. "The first football contract that a player signs should be for the club that trains them," he added. "I left for another country at 25. You don't need to leave at 15. It's to do with protecting social values, family values."