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Wenger calls EPL roster rule a disaster
The Guardian, August 13th, 2010 7:47PM

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the English Premier League's new 25-man squad limit is "a disaster" for England and warned there will be serious repercussions on the quality and global appeal of the EPL. The new rule limits senior squads to 25, including eight homegrown players trained at a club in England or Wales for three years before the season in which they became 21.

Wenger says it will cause the transfer market stagnate and expose more players and agents as mercenaries. The Premier League hopes the rule will see coaches turning to youth and academy graduates, ultimately to benefit the national team. Wenger called the move "a joke".

"It's very difficult to understand the Premier League's decision because, instead of asking, 'We have the best league in the world but how can we make it even greater?' they have gone, 'How can we make it smaller?'" Wenger said. "The new rules on squads are a disaster for this country. It's ridiculous. The homegrown rule is all artificial. From 1966 to 1996 this country won absolutely nothing, and there was not one foreign player [in the English league]. How has it changed? It is absolutely a joke. ...

"I've been educating players since I was 25 and I know one rule. The first thing you do to develop a player, however good a coach you are, is put him with another good player. In my opinion – and it's not [the Premier League's] opinion – if you are a great player, you want to play with great players. If you are a great musician, you want to play in an orchestra with the best musicians. If you offer the guy the chance to play in an orchestra with poor musicians, he will not be happy."

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