The Role of Financial and Managerial Variables on the Policy towards Home-grown Players in English Soccer

  •  Carlo Amenta    
  •  Claudio Ballor    
  •  Paolo Di Betta    


The training and development of young players both as athletes and individuals is one of the task soccer governing bodies assign to professional soccer team in order to fully exploit the social aspects of sport activities. Recently UEFA imposed new rules to improve the use of home-grown players. We analyze a panel data of English Premier and Championship league clubs for the seasons 2001-02 to 2005-06 in order to understand what clubs characteristics lead to the employment of young players in the team during official matches. Sport commercialization and the employment of star players have been considered harmful to this role. Our findings suggest that, counter-intuitively, economic and commercial aspects of clubs are not important for the development of home-grown players, for example well paid players do not crowd-out home-growns. Managerial policies play a significant role. Major clubs in the Premier league deploy home-grown less often; leasing them to the Championship league could be a solution. Attendance favors home-grown players, which hints at a more active communication policy for the clubs in order to nurture the link with the local community. These results suggest social responsible strategies for Premier League clubs in order to improve their perceived social role and to avoid invasive interventions from national and international governing bodies in their managerial decisions on the clubs.

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