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Cohen and his Englishness: the most bonkers neo-nationalistic FA story ever

UEFA introduced the rule at the start of the 2006/07 football season requiring that all teams entering European club competitions had to name eight ‘home grown’ players in their 25 man squad.  As part of the argument UEFA argued that since the 1995 Bosman ruling in the European Court of Justice, European competitions were becoming less competitive and clubs were not training up local players.

The Football Association however went much further, claiming without any evidence at all that allowing foreign players to play in the English league has negative consequences for the English national team.  And indeed this was not just without any evidence but contrary to such evidence as could be found.

The fairly simple research that established that the contrary of the FA’s position was true was first published in Untold in 2010 and has since been republished (without acknowledgement) in the Daily Telegraph in August 2013.

In 2011 the European Commission reviewed whether the home grown rule breached Article 45 of the European Treaty.  This and other research showed that improvements in competitiveness have been very small and there is likely very little evidence to show that the rule has improved the quality of youth development in football.

But despite a total lack of evidence that the current situation does restrict the ability of England to compete in international competitions or has any effect on youth opportunities, the desire to change by the FA continues and they are repeatedly suggesting they will use Brexit to enforce the views.

Which makes the situation concerning Cohen Bramall really weird.

Cohen was an Arsenal player – he has just been released by the club and is now looking for another club.  He is also English – he was born in England and qualifies like all British born people, to live in England.

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