Sport Soccer

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Fox won't back home-grown changes

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox disagrees with plans to increase the home-grown quota
Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox disagrees with plans to increase the home-grown quota

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox says he will not support the Football Association's plan to increase the home-grown quota in the Barclays Premier League, insisting the plan could "decimate" club academies.

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants to help English youngsters by persuading clubs to drop the number of non-home grown players allowed in a 25-man squad from 17 to 13.

Dyke also aims to change the definition of 'home grown' so that players only qualify if they are registered with a club three years prior to turning 18, rather than 21 as it is now.

It is believed clubs are unlikely to back the proposals, which place further restrictions on their selection of players, with Fox insisting he is not the only Premier League executive to be against the plans.

"I am not supportive of them and to be frank, I don't think I've spoken to a counterpart in the Premier League who is supportive of it," said Fox, speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club.

"I don't think that system will lead to the desired outcome, I think it will lead to the direct opposite.

"If you increase the quota system the clubs now that are filled with international players will quickly have to find English players.

"They will then start quickly going to find younger English players to come through their system and those players are sitting at other clubs' academies.

"Some of our best players at 13, 14, 15, 16 will get approached because it's a lot easier to take them at that age than when they're a full-formed star.

"It would decimate the academy system and make my academy system not financially viable because all the good players walk out."

Dyke is committed to negotiating with Premier League clubs but has previously claimed the FA could, if it wanted to, change the rules without their consent.

Fox, however, believes England's problem lies not with English players in the Premier League but with the development of youngsters at a lower level.

"I watched the World Cup and there were 11 starting Premier League players (for England) on the pitch and the bench was filled with starting Premier League players," Fox said.

"There's something else not right if the United States, who had one current Premier League player in Jozy Altidore, makes it past the group stage and England doesn't.

"That's nothing to do with England players not getting an opportunity.

"The FA gets the chance to choose from a pool of about 40 players, those players get the chance to play against the top talent in the world.

"That's more important for development than creating an artificial quota system that by its very nature will see players who aren't as good getting an opportunity.

"They need to be developed at a younger age and there needs to be better coaching at a younger age. I don't think the quota system is a goer."

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