Date: 15th September 2009 at 3:39am
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Unfortunately the Premier League haven’t decided to grant us a 20 point lead, but our ‘buy British’ policy could have unforeseen rewards.

According to Sky Sports, the Premier League’s Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has finally got his way on both a ‘home grown’ ruling and a maximum named squad capacity of 25 bodies.

From the start of next season the new regulations will come into force (obviously subject to any appeals, legal shenanigans about restricting right to work etc and all the usual stuff bandied around when there’s talk of caps) which will see clubs required to have at least 8 home grown players in their roster of 25 bodies.

Additionally, alterations to that list of 25 can only take place during the summer and January transfer windows.

‘As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown,’ said Scudamore.

The home grown definition is straight forward though, players have to be trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.

I await the appeal from a Scottish player for a start.

However, for a club like us with a very strong and young reserve team, players aged under 21 are basically exempt from this limitation and from my understanding can continue to pass freely into our first team squad.

The overall design is to boost the chances of the National team, which personally is a laughable joke. International football, albeit a money spinner for the associated organisations, is a football bonus, it’s a frill.

I support Villa, I wouldn’t shed a tear if we no longer had a National team pulling our players out of the squad for pointless friendlies and interrupting our fixture list…breath, moving on.

But Scudamore doesn’t believe these changes will lead to player stockpiling, or even more problems with clubs allegedly enticing young foreign players (or homegrown for that matter) into their academies, instead he believes it will add value (read increase prices) to existing homegrown talent and also encourage clubs to dig deeper when it comes to their own academies and youth systems.

Can I use the word homegrown again I wonder?

Now as said with our policy of buying British naturally, and more importantly our sterling work in identifying new talent this won’t pose a problem for us – if anything it gives us a clear advantage on some clubs from the get go.

But you do have to wonder how the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal will approach this, especially Chelsea with their two year transfer embargo.

Now you would presume they’ve already agreed to these changes so have a plan up their sleeves, but it could be a very interesting one to watch…

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