Home Grown Players Rule in Premier League. Stats and reality
With the growing competition in the English Premier League, many teams are signing players from around the world. The scouting networks of various EPL Clubs are spread throughout the globe to find apt talent. This pool of players not only provide them fantastic quality at a fairly reasonable salary but they also save the clubs from exponentially growing players transfer fees. On the dark side of this globalization in the industry of football, the local lads of England have to suffer cutthroat competition in their path towards professional football. To prevent the English Premier League from being entirely commercial activity, the Football Association (FA) introduced Home Grown Player (HGP) rule. This rule directs every EPL team to have at least 8 Homegrown players to take advantage of full 25 men squad.
This article provides an insight into the stats related to the HGP rule. What is HGP Rule? How many HGP receives the chance in starting eleven at the EPL? Which teams promote HGP at senior level the most? Which EPL Clubs have produced the most number of currently playing HGP?
What is a Home Grown Player (HGP)?
An HGP refers to any player who has played for an FA affiliated club for at least 3 years before turning 21. There is no bar on the nationality of the player. For example, Arsenal's Hector Bellerin is Spanish by nationality but is regarded as HGP. The Arsenal right-back was signed from Barcelona youth academy (La Masia) at the age of 16. So before turning 21, Hector played for more than 3 years for Arsenal. That is why Bellerin is regarded as an HGP.
Why was the HGP rule introduced?
The HGP Rule was implemented to introduce local footballers at the biggest football league in the world. It was also aimed at promoting the football academies of the clubs associated with the FA. The long-term goal of preparing a world champion English football team was set while drafting the HGP rule.
Some Important Stats
The following stats are obtained from the starting lineups of various EPL Clubs in the Game Week 2 of the English Premier League Season 2018/19.
· 44% of Players in the starting lineups are Home Grown. Out of all 220 players which took the field for their respective teams in the second Gameweek of the EPL season 2018-19, 97 players fulfil the HGP quota.
· If the league table is prepared on the basis of the number of HGP, AFC Bournemouth would have topped it. 10 players (except Ryan Fraser) in the first eleven of the cherries were HGP. Arsenal (Bellerin and Iwobi) and West Ham United (Mark Noble and Jake Wilshere) had only 2 HGP. Chelsea and Manchester City had 1 HGP each (Ross Barkley for Chelsea and John Stones for Manchester City) in their starting XI squads.
Among the homegrown players, 69% hold English Passport while another 14.4% belonged to the other countries of the British Isles. Remaining 16 players were from various nationalities like Denmark (Kasper Schmeichel), France (Paul Pogba), Spain (Hector Bellerin), Ivory Coast (Wilfred Zaha), etc.
Out of total 97 HGP in the starting lineups of various EPL Clubs, 60 were associated with one or more current EPL clubs during their development years. 44 players were registered in Lower league clubs of the FA during some time of their days of youth football.
· These 97 HGP were associated with various clubs of the FA before attaining the age of 21. The Clubs to contribute the most to the development of these players are Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur with 7 players each. On the other hand, Burnely contributed to zero HGP in the starting lineups of all 20 teams in Gameweek 2.
Among the Non-EPL academics which produced the most HGP in starting lineups of various EPL Clubs, Leeds, Sheffield United, Reading and Plymouth Argyle stood at the top. Each of these Clubs contributed 3 HGP which is more than 8 currently playing EPL Clubs.
· It is important to note that some highly talented HGP like Raheem Sterling, Marcos Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Danny Rose and Rob Holding were not taken into the study because they were not the part of starting lineups of their respective clubs in the second game week of the 2018-19 season.
HGP Rule and England's Performance in the FIFA World Cup
The Home Grown Player Rule of the FA certainly helped to improve the performance of England National Team at the global stage. The three lions' performance was better than the previous six world cups in Russia, 2016 where they finished at the fourth place. There is a proposed plan to extend the number of HGP from 8 to 12 for each EPL Club in the near future. Whether it will improve the English National Team or degrade the quality of EPL, only time will tell.