6+5 = Opportunity?

Fifa LogoJust before Euro 2008 began taking over our TV sets, FIFA announced the proposal of a new rule, quite simply dubbed the ‘6+5’ rule.

This would mean that football teams may only be allowed to field 5 foreign players in their starting 11, with the other 6 being from the home country. However, there may be a tweaking of the rule for the English Leagues, as ‘home’ may branch out to the whole UK.

One of the reasons for this rule is to ensure that the countries such as England benefit from their own league. Despite having the richest, most competitive league and three of the four Champions League semi-finalists, they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

This rule has already been implemented in other countries, such as Australia, where the A League only permits 3 foreign players on their entire roster.

So taking the most popular league in the world, the English Premier League, the question is how will the clubs be affected? One just needs to look at their closing day teams to see what clubs would need to make changes. [How ‘6+5’ would hit the Premier League]

As you can see in the article above, only 7 out of 20 teams would have been able to keep their original lineups. There is no surprise then that the big clubs are opposed to this rule, as it will cost them significantly in adjusting their squads.

So just what will be the implication of this rule to players and agents alike?

Firstly, it will provide more opportunities to local players. Instead of being forced to lower division clubs, the players will most likely be moved around as the club must play at least 6 a game. However, the restriction for these players will be greater as the opportunities abroad will be limited.

Agents will have a tougher time selling their players abroad, but as previously mentioned, on a local scale an agent will be able to shop players around more and possibly prolong their career.

In regards to salaries, there is a possibility that at the higher end of players, they will increase. With a decrease in spots available, clubs will be scouring to secure the best and pay for it.

The intentions of FIFA are good. It should mean the leagues will be closer in competitiveness. However, agents should not be too disheartened to the restrictions imposed. There is plenty of upside for players with this rule. A club is not going to look abroad for an average player who has been dropped by a top flight club. However, an agent can use the 6+5 to their advantage by seeking the increased opportunities on a local scale.

2 replies on “6+5 = Opportunity?”

as a big fan of the premier league, i’m not a fan of the proposed rule, i think it will honestly water down the premier league, and totally goes against the idea of professional sports, imo.

can you imagine if mlb instituted a rule that said only 4 of your starting 9 could be foreign based/born?

Great post Chris. The rule will never go through as it is illegal and fundamentally contravene’s the free movement of workers throughout the EU which is secured within EU legislation. It is also targeted at English clubs who are dominating European football at the highest level (England has had a team in the Champions League Final for 4 years in a row)

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