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SBD Global/March 22, 2013/International Football
Study Suggests Top European Football Clubs Have More Internationals, Older Players
Published March 22, 2013
THE STUDY: FOOTBALLPERSPECTIVES, which published the report, noted the profile of players in the first division of football "varies greatly from one country to another." The average age of a player is higher in the richest leagues and diminishes progressively going down the rankings. The squads of "the biggest champions have more experienced players." Conversely, young players "are less numerous" in the Big Five where only 16% of players are under 22 compared to 24% in the fourth economic level. The int'l recruitment of players was for many years" hampered by the quotas limiting the number of foreigners." The Bosman ruling decreed by the European Court of Justice in December '95 "changed the rules for clubs of European Community member countries or those having signed free movement of people agreements with the EU." Communitarian players were "effectively no longer bound by quotas." At the same time, numerous leagues "liberalised the presence of non-communitarian footballers." For the Big Five, the percentage of players imported from abroad increased from 19% to 43% between '95 and '12 (FOOTBALLPERSPECTIVES, 3/21).