Spurs and the 25-man squad rule
The new Home Grown Players rule seems to be confusing a large number of people, including journalists (EDIT: here I am criticising them, and I’ve made a cock-up myself!). Let me start by saying that Spurs won’t be immediately affected by this rule.
At the end of the transfer window (6pm on the 31st August), we have to electronically register a squad. The maximum number of players registered is 25. If we are to name a 25-man squad, we must include at least 8 players that are “home grown”. If we don’t have 8 home grown players, we are able to name fewer, but we would have to operate with a reduced squad – i.e. 7 home grown in a 24-man squad, 6 home grown in a 23-man squad, etc. A home grown player is defined as follows:
A home grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
Outside of this 25-man squad, we can use any number of players who are Under 21. An Under 21 player is defined as follows:
In keeping with UEFA guidelines, an Under 21 player is defined as one who is under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences. For the 2010/11 campaign Under 21 players will have been born on or after 1st January 1989.
Applying the rules to our current squad, we shape up as follows – asterisk (*) represents a home grown player:
1 Heurelho Gomes 15/02/1981 29
2 Carlo Cudicini 06/09/1973 36
3 Ben Alnwick 01/01/1987 23 *
4 Ledley King 02/10/1980 29 *
5 Michael Dawson 18/11/1983 26 *
6 Vedran Corluka 05/02/1986 24
7 Sébastien Bassong 09/07/1986 24
8 Benoît Assou–Ekotto 24/03/1984 26
9 Younes Kaboul 04/01/1986 24
10 Jonathan Woodgate 22/01/1980 30 *
11 Alan Hutton 30/11/1984 25
12 Kyle Naughton 11/11/1988 21 *
13 Dorian Dervite 25/07/1988 22 (EDIT: he now appears on the Villareal web-site, although Spurs haven’t confirmed that he has left.)
14 Luka Modric 09/09/1985 24
15 Tom Huddlestone 28/12/1986 23 *
16 Aaron Lennon 16/04/1987 23 *
17 Wilson Palacios 29/07/1984 26
18 Jermaine Jenas 18/02/1983 27 *
19 Niko Kranjcar 13/08/1984 25
20 David Bentley 27/08/1984 25 *
21 Jamie O’Hara 25/09/1986 23 *
22 Robbie Keane 08/07/1980 30 *
23 Peter Crouch 30/01/1981 29 *
24 Roman Pavlyuchenko 15/12/1981 28
25 Jermain Defoe 07/10/1982 27 *
EDIT: Just to make things clearer, people have been asking about Bale – as he was born on 16/07/1989, he doesn’t need to be registered. Same goes for Giovani, Sandro, Livermore, Rose, Walker, etc.
We will then have to submit a new list at the end of the transfer window in January 2011, but at least for this season, any players who were 21 as of 1st January 2010, but are 22 as of 1st January 2011 will not need to be registered.
I think it is unlikely that Dervite and Woodgate will be included in the main squad, and the chances are that at least one of Hutton/Keane/Jenas will leave. We should have some room for manoeuvre, but it is certainly something that clubs will have to bear in mind when making signings in both windows.
So, to sum up the situation:
- Clubs must register any players who are over 21, and may name a maximum of 25.
- If a 25-man squad is named, 8 of those must be “home grown”.
- Clubs are allowed to name less than 8 home grown players, but if they do so, they will have to operate with a reduced squad.
- The current Spurs squad could operate with no immediate effect.