Limit on foreign players in the 2017-2018 RFPL
The limit on foreign players in the 2017-2018 RFPL is one of the most discussed topics among sports analysts, government officials and ordinary fans. Usually the question of expanding or reducing the number of foreign players in the Premier League clubs becomes relevant after the unsuccessful performance of the national team. It happened this time after the failure of Russia at the Confederations Cup, where Stanislav Cherchesov's charges could not leave the group.
History of restrictions
For the first time, the limit on foreign players was introduced in the highest football division of the country back in 2005. At that time, the situation was when the teams preferred to recruit more qualified, skilled, talented foreigners than investing huge amounts of money and spending several seasons to increase the level of the Russian player. Club management demanded that coaches have an immediate result and successful performance in European cups, and these goals could only be achieved after attracting foreign players.
The RFU has made its own adjustments in the ambitions of many participants in the Premier League. Under the new rules at the same time on the field during the match should not be more than 5 players with a foreign passport. This reform pursued the following objectives:
- raising the level of domestic masters of the ball;
- deliverance from cheap and low-quality legionnaires;
- PFK’s management of the point of purchase of foreigners;
- an increase in contributions to football academies and the development of their own players.
The initiative was revolutionary, but its entire effect was leveled by one amendment: the players who played 10 or more matches for the national team of their country were not equated with the legionaries. It was canceled already in 2006, easing the limit to 7 players (7 + 4). In July 2015, the RFU tightened the formula, which until the current season remained unchanged: no more than 6 foreigners on the field at the same time and 5 people with a Russian passport.
Something went wrong?
For many fans, it remains a mystery why in 9 years the Russian national football team has not achieved serious victories, having fallen into the seventh decade of the FIFA rating. In fact, everything is simple - the limit on foreign players has corrupted the domestic players, who are paid by the clubs a lot of money.If earlier wages in the same Championship of Italy or England were much more than in the Premier League, now the opposite is true. Here is a list of the most paid domestic footballers:
- Vladimir Dyadyun (“Ruby”) - 1.5 million euros per year;
- Pavel Pogrebnyak (Dynamo) - 1.8 million euros per year;
- Artur Yusupov (Zenit) - 2 million euros per year;
- Dmitry Tarasov (Lokomotiv) - 2.4 million euros per year;
- Alexander Kokorin (Zenit) - 3.3 million euros per year.
It is unlikely that at least one club from the Top-4 European Championships will offer a salary to domestic “stars” that even remotely resemble the presented figures. It turns out that the meaning of progress has been completely lost: why lay out on the field, if in the end the money will still go to your bank account.
Another disastrous moment for Russian football was the huge difference in the budget between the participants of the Premier League. Rich clubs simply began to buy promising players with a Russian passport, thereby undermining the degree of competition. This situation has developed in the season of 2017-2018, when Zenit gets the best players from competitors (in particular, from Rostov), staffing its staff with promising players.Far from the fact that they will be able to break into the base, and sitting down pants on the bench does not add skill to the footballer.
Are there any positive moments in the limit?
Definitely limiting the number of foreigners had a positive effect on domestic sport. Many clubs began to direct more funds to the development of their own youth schools. For example, in Krasnodar, an entire system of training young people was created, ranging from kindergarten age to ending with the basic structure. At CSKA, a number of football players nurtured by an “army” academy (we are talking about Alexander Golovin, Konstantin Bazelyuk, Fyodor Chalov) are already solid players in the basics.
A number of talented football players agreed to take Russian citizenship, which automatically removed the restriction from them. Mario Fernandez, Guilherme, Ari, Maicon - all of them are able to strengthen the Russian team at the upcoming 2018 Mundiale. The practice of naturalization is used by many national teams, so the opinion of some fans about banning the participation of such players in the national team is not only inappropriate, but also absurd.
What could be the limit?
Leading clubs have stated that the limit of 6 + 5 legionnaires, which operates in the 2017-2018 RFPL, is hopeless, but sports officials did not hear them. Today, when the absurdity and inefficiency of the reform became obvious to everyone, rumors of a change in restrictions appeared. In particular, the opinion that the limit should be extended to “10 + 15” should be getting louder. In other words, teams will be able to submit a list of 10 foreigners and 15 players with a Russian passport to the application for the season.
In general, the leadership of the RFU agrees with this innovation and, most likely, specific amendments will be made to the Premier League after the 2018 World Cup. It is unclear how many foreigners will have the right to enter the field at the same time, but it’s obvious that this number will be higher than 6. Perhaps the limit will be expanded to 7–8 players or they will enter a certain number of matches in a season when at least 10 of foreigners.
There is also an opposite opinion regarding the limit. Some officials believe that it should be tightened, reducing to 4-5 players. As a concomitant measure to improve the skills of domestic footballers, State Duma deputies proposed limiting the players' salaries.For example, the leader of the LDPR faction, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, suggested cutting down cash incomes of football players to 20-25 million rubles a year. In this case, Kokorin and the company will definitely have an incentive to move abroad.
Thus, the 2017-2018 RFPL limit, introduced two years ago, has not changed. In the new season, fans will see no more than 6 foreign players on the field, although they are planning to change this formula soon.