Premier League one third English Premier League one third English
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    Default Premier League one third English

    And 25% english when you remove the Irish, Welsh, & Scottish.

    BBC Sport - State of the Game: Premier League now less than one third English

    State of the Game: Premier League now less than one third English


    English footballers account for less than a third of all the minutes played in the Premier League, a State of the Game study for BBC Sport has found.

    The figure for home country players - 31.8% - is down from 35.25% in 2007-08 and is significantly lower than all other major European leagues according to football statisticians Opta.

    In La Liga, home of World Cup holders and European champions Spain, Spaniards account for 59% of all minutes played. In Germany's Bundesliga, Germans make up 50%.

    Mapping the State of the Game


    Use the State of the Game interactive map to see how the UK's world football map has changed. You can discover exactly where players in the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership come from now and in the 2007-08 season.

    The minutes played by Scottish players in the Scottish Premiership has remained static - 57.36% in 2007-08 and 57.19% so far this season.

    But Scottish (3.22%), Welsh (3.12%) and Northern Irish (0.93%) players have got fewer minutes on the pitch in the Premier League than French (7.98%), Dutch (3.94%) and Spanish (6.18%) players so far this season.

    However, footballers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are playing more minutes in the Championship and the Scottish Premiership than they did five years ago.

    In total, 60.93% of minutes in the Premier League have been completed by foreign players so far this season, up from 56.92% in 2007-08.

    Former England captain Alan Shearer said: "These are tough times for English football at the moment. Everyone is aware that English football is not as healthy as it should be and I'm afraid it is all going to take time."

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said the figures were a "concern", but added: "There are only two ways you can see it - you have the opportunity to have the best players in the world in England, so let's see what they have and let's produce players who have the same qualities.

    Play media

    Top names react to State of the Game

    "Or you say, let's protect our players, keep the good players out and let's just play the English players. I believe that we live in a global world. The real question for English football is whether it can produce the players with the needed quality."

    The study examined the minutes played by every nationality represented in the Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premiership so far this season, compared with the 2007-08 campaign, the last time all the home nations failed to qualify for a major tournament.

    The findings come ahead of a crucial few days in England's campaign to reach for next summer's World Cup in Brazil, a tournament that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have failed to qualify for.

    State of the Game found:

    Despite the rise in the number of minutes by foreign players, the number of different nationalities in the Premier League fell from 68 in 2007-08 to 61 so far this season.
    French (7.99%) and Spanish (6.18%) players played the most minutes after English players in the Premier League.
    Northern Ireland have fallen out of the top 10 most played in the Premier League since 2007-08. The Republic of Ireland and Scotland have fallen to fourth and seventh respectively from second and fifth.
    Argentina (2.06%) and Belgium (3.54%) are new entrants to the Premier League's top 10 this season compared with 2007-08.
    In the Scottish Premiership, after Scottish players (57.19%), the next highest are England (16.41%), Republic of Ireland (8.65%) and Northern Ireland (3.61%). Wales are sixth (1.84%), just below the Netherlands (2.96%).
    In the Championship, UK players accounted for 63.57% of minutes played in England's second tier in the 2007-08 season, but that figure is up by 7% to 70.5% this season,
    English players got the most minutes (55.43%) in the country's second tier, followed by Scotland (8.72%), Republic of Ireland (8.34%) and Wales (4.53%). Jamaica (2.41%) and the United States (1.10%) make the top 10, with Northern Ireland seventh (1.82%).
    Only last month, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke addressed what he called a "frightening trend" of the reduction in the number of English players playing regularly in the Premier League.

    Against the backdrop of a growing foreign influence in the Premier League, Dyke warned England might not be able to compete seriously on the world stage without changes in the domestic game.

    Shearer, who won 63 caps between 1992 and 2000 said: "It makes it harder for England, there's no doubt about it.

    "But England didn't qualify for the US in 1994 when the percentage of British players was quite high, so I do believe that it's not only the number of foreign players in the Premier League that is making things difficult for England.

    Elsewhere in Europe

    45.4% Percentage of Serie A minutes played by Italian players so far this season, down 19% since 2007-08.

    50% Percentage of Bundesliga minutes played by Germany players so far this season, up 7% since 2007-08.

    51.1% Percentage of Ligue 1 minutes played by French players so far this season, down 2% since 2007-08.

    59.4% Percentage of La Liga minutes played by Spanish players so far this season, down 1% since 2007-8.

    "I believe there are a number of other things. Foreign players are a lot cheaper than British players and as we all know, managers have no time whatsoever.

    "There is also the hunger of young players and the coaching that players have. If you put all that together, then that's where England are at this moment in time."

    Chris Waddle, who won 62 caps for England between 1985 and 1991, said: "The Premier League is a great product to sell around the world but for the national team it does a lot of damage.

    "All this money flying around in the Premier League, and grassroots [football] is going backwards."

    Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman said it was an "acute problem and getting worse".

    "Unless there is some sort of ratio idea that Uefa president Michel Platini has been advocating over the years, I expect that we are not going to resolve that problem," he added.

    Play media

    English youngsters lack desire - Shearer

    Former Northern Ireland international Billy Hamilton, who starred at the 1982 World Cup, said the figures painted a "bleak future" for his country.

    "Unless the Premier League or indeed Championship put some kind of cap on the amount of foreign players then the statistics are only going to get worse for Northern Ireland," he said.

    "Well, if the Premier League don't introduce a cap on foreign players to four or five in a team, I can tell you that England will never win another tournament."

    David Wetherall, head of player development at the Football League, said he was not surprised the numbers of UK numbers were on the up in the Championship.

    "There's some fantastic youth development work being done in the Football League. About £60m per year is invested in youth development in the Football League, and two thirds of that comes from the clubs themselves."
    “We've always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we've just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we've barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.”

  2. #2

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    Given that British sportspeople have reached the top in athletics, road and track cycling, rugby union, cricket, gymnastics, rowing, equestrian, tennis, boxing etc etc etc, I wonder whether football in Britain is really attracting the most talented young sportspeople.
    And what exactly is wrong with an "ad hominem" argument? Dodgy Agent, 16-5-2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mich the Tester View Post
    Given that British sportspeople have reached the top in athletics, road and track cycling, rugby union, cricket, gymnastics, rowing, equestrian, tennis, boxing etc etc etc, I wonder whether football in Britain is really attracting the most talented young sportspeople.
    Or that maybe football should recruit talent from overseas like the cycling, cricket, rugby ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveTimes View Post
    Or that maybe football should recruit talent from overseas like the cycling, cricket, rugby ?
    Perhaps, and personally I don't oppose that, but actually those sports still have most of their talent coming from British backgrounds.

    It's not as if there's a shortage of talent in Britain; OK, I'm not saying that a natural long distance runner could be a great footballer, but there are common factors to success in all ball sports, like hand and foot to eye coordination, peripheral vision, spatial awareness, judgment of speed and distance, and then common aspects in any athletic sport like speed, endurance, 'trainability' and resistance to injury; there's obviously no shortage of those qualities among English young people as so many sports succeed in getting the best out of them; why doesn't football do that?
    And what exactly is wrong with an "ad hominem" argument? Dodgy Agent, 16-5-2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveTimes View Post
    Or that maybe football should recruit talent from overseas like the cycling, cricket, rugby ?
    There are players in the Bundesliga who have British parents and are eligible to play for England, in fact one now plays for Tottenham: Lewis Holtby, but they decided not to and instead are picked for the German national team, why? They'll quite happily play in the PL but not for England...
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    There are players in the Bundesliga who have British parents and are eligible to play for England, in fact one now plays for Tottenham: Lewis Holtby, but they decided not to and instead are picked for the German national team, why? They'll quite happily play in the PL but not for England...
    Perhaps he'll have a chance of winning the World Cup if he plays for Germany. Really single minded sportspeople (often the types that become the very best) will often choose whatever route they think will get them to the top of their sport; nationality might be of secondary concern.
    And what exactly is wrong with an "ad hominem" argument? Dodgy Agent, 16-5-2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mich the Tester View Post
    Given that British sportspeople have reached the top in athletics, road and track cycling, rugby union, cricket, gymnastics, rowing, equestrian, tennis, boxing etc etc etc, I wonder whether football in Britain is really attracting the most talented young sportspeople.


    seriously, nobody really gives a flying fook about cycling

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    I suppose it depends what is classed as English/British. Would John Barnes, Owen Hargreave be classed as british ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by minestrone View Post
    seriously, nobody really gives a flying fook about cycling
    Poor trolling. 1/10.
    And what exactly is wrong with an "ad hominem" argument? Dodgy Agent, 16-5-2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mich the Tester View Post
    Given that British sportspeople have reached the top in athletics, road and track cycling, rugby union, cricket, gymnastics, rowing, equestrian, tennis, boxing etc etc etc, I wonder whether football in Britain is really attracting the most talented young sportspeople.
    Oh but it is and the FA have opened their new training school, St. Georges but its a little bit late. The Germans saw that their national team were doing absolutely tulip a few years back and decided to invest in the youth and although they may not have won much they still have a formidable team and the Bundesliga clubs are a force to be reckoned with. However you talk about other sports here but where do these people train? Many of them live and train abroad because the UK either does not have the facilities, coaches, etc. or does not invest in the sport even though the Olympics was meant to be the kickstart to investment in sport, the government is still cutting back in that area. When I was at school we had football and rugby pitches, a cricket pitch, a full complement of athletic facilites, tennis courts, netball, 2 indoor gyms, etc. When I went back to look at my old school they only had one football pitch and one gym, all the outside facilites were now housing. That is where the problem lies, no investment in youth...
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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