Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Foreign Brands

Overseas players to be marked

Coppell: Rivers of blood
Coppell: Rivers of blood
Happier times
Happier times
Frustrated by European law, FIFA have backed FA plans to brand all foreign players by making them wear symbols on their shirts.

Under the new proposals, from next season, all overseas players must wear a badge to denote their foreign-ness. The measure comes amidst increasing concerns that these foreigners are coming over here and playing better than Englishmen.
Coppell bottomed
The debate was sparked by Reading manager Steve Coppell who voiced his concern in an interview that English football was falling behind and new coaching techniques needed to be introduced. He also spoke of the need for modest affirmative action for English players in Premier League squads. Dubbed by the press as the "Rivers of Blood" speech, it was seized upon as the only reason for England's poor performance in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Copper bottomed
"The law forbids us from placing a cap on foreigners." said Ernesto Cockgroupier, head of the FA's diversity and integration unit. "But by ghettoising them we hope to drive them out and return to the good old days of the 70s and 80s when we only had Scots improving the quality of our league."

Continental players will wear a Eurodollar symbol, African players will wear the symbol for copper which represents the special connection between Africa and Britain. Plans to have Israeli players wear yellow stars were reversed after holocaust survivors denounced the symbol as "too retro".
How much?
Critics argue that, rather than discriminating against foreigners, it might be better to encourage a more efficient transfer policy among Premier League managers to prevent them from panic buying cheap and inferior players, some of which are from overseas. Also, more English players might rise to the top through better coaching at youth level. Brooking laughed off these suggestions. "I've been in this job for four years and haven't been able to stop 10 year-olds kids from knackering themselves out on full size pitches. What chance have I got of getting anything else done."

"It takes half a day to get a bloody cup of tea round here... when you're ready love!"

Get in touch with us


Email *

Message *

Latest podcast

Never miss a podcast