Another guest post – from regular commentator Mohan
I think this is a good idea, considering that Blatter once (and probably still does) had a dubious reputation of making such strange ideas that I read Brian Glanville report this anecdote made by a German reporter that “Sepp Blatter has 50 new ideas and 51 of them are bad” 🙂
There are several reasons why I think it will be good, and the most important of them will be the increased emphasis on youth development. Football academies in Europe do have legendary stature (Ajax being a prime example) but with the advent of merchandising, clubs are now talking through agents than scouts. Too often clubs have gotten away with unscrupulous dealing and while people may say that what goes around comes around, I believe that big clubs are becoming bigger by the kind of methods they use to sign players than the reputation they gain on the pitch. Example: Real Madrid in the 2000s.
Secondly, while clubs with good academies like Everton may find themselves on a more even footing with the big 4 in BPL, it remains to be seen how much influence this will bring on managers like Arsene Wenger, who blood youth but not necessarily from the same academy. I wont be one bit surprised if Wenger throws a fit and terms this proposal some thing colorful which only he can think of. 🙂
However, one potential danger in this is quality may suffer a bit. This does not mean anything against the home-grown players but the probability of a match-turning moment or that unique spark of creation may decrease. Conversely, teams that play in the belief of sum-of-parts-greater-than-the-whole may improve beyond their own expectations.
It is an interesting proposal and one I am sure will be a milestone in European club football.