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Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with football authorities on the number of overseas players registered to play with English clubs; and if he will make a statement. (155479)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met recently with representatives of The Football Association to discuss, among other issues, the development of national talent and the recently published Review of Young Player Development in Professional Football. We look forward to seeing The FA’s response in the near future.

While overseas players continue to make a valuable contribution to the English game and have helped the Premier League to become one of the best domestic leagues in the world, we recognise concerns that an over reliance on overseas players may impact upon the quality of players available for the national team. It is right that The FA should be considering this issue.