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Neville backs player quota system

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13 Aug 2013 10:01:53

Neville backs player quota system

A quota system should be introduced to the Premier League to help the home nations, according to England coach Gary Neville, who fears the top flight has passed its "tipping point" when it comes to foreign players.

The former Manchester United full-back, who combines his role as a television pundit with assisting England boss Roy Hodgson, is concerned about the direction the British and Irish national sides are heading in.

And citing the start of his own career as an example when clubs were limited to the amount of overseas players they could field, Neville has suggested an inversion of that system whereby managers would have to pick players from the home nations.

Speaking to the Guardian, Neville said: "Last week I looked at a list of players signed into the Premier League. I like to think I'm well-read on football but, honestly, I'd never heard of 50-60 per cent of them.

"All right, we might unearth lots of talent from abroad. And some fantastic foreign players and managers have enhanced British football no end. But I used the phrase 'tipping point' last season and I feel we're going too far right now.

"We need to protect our English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Irish national teams by giving more boys from those countries more opportunities.

"England not winning trophies, or even reaching the semi-finals of major competitions any longer, is a problem for us.

"It's also a problem for the Premier League, which seems behind the German and Spanish leagues.

"The way I see it, British football clubs and managers, the Football Association and the Premier League need to come together as one. We all want a successful group of home nations which produce more domestic players.

"It's not just England. Look what's happened to Scottish football. Look at the Republic of Ireland. Roy Keane, Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Paul McGrath and Kevin Moran always played on English soil and in the Premier League.


PA

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