New Premier League 25-man squad rules explained
Published 12:10 01/09/10 By MirrorFootball
Now the transfer window has shut, Premier League clubs must now decide on their 25-man squad for the coming season.
This is a new rule introduced this season to try to encourage the use of more home-grown players by top flight clubs with the long term aim of helping the development of the England team.
But how exactly do the new regulations work? Here's MirrorFootball's 10-point guide to help you through.
1) All Premier League clubs must submit a squad of up to 25 players, by 5pm on Wednesday, September 1.
2) Each 25-man squad must include at least eight 'home-grown' players.
3) The 'home-grown' players do not have to be English. According to the Premier League: "A home grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21)." In practice this means that Cesc Fabregas, who joined Arsenal when he was 16, counts as one of the Gunners' home-grown quota.
4) In addition to the 25-man named squad, clubs can use an unlimited number of players aged 21 or under. This means that Manchester City's new £22.5m striker Mario Balotelli, who is just 20, does not need to be named in their 25-man squad. According to the Premier League: "An Under 21 player is defined as one who is under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences. For the 2010/11 campaign Under 21 players will have been born on or after 1st January 1989."
5) Clubs can make changes to their squad but only during transfer windows, so once submitted the clubs will be stuck with that squad until January. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as a goalkeeper crisis, can changes be made outside the window, and then only if the Premier League board approves the changes.
6) Once the transfer window opens again, there are no restrictions on how many changes clubs can make to their squads, so they can replace the entire 25 if they want to.
7) Even if a player is not named in the 25-man squad, they can still play in the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League or Europa League.
8) Players from the 25-man squad cannot be replaced if they are loaned to Football League clubs, but can regain their spot in the group if they return to the parent club.
9) Clubs do not have to name a full squad of 25 if they do not have that many contracted players and in this case they can add free agents outside the transfer window. However if they have 25 eligible contracted players, they must be named.
10) Similarly, clubs do not have to name eight 'home-grown' players if they do not have enough, but this would mean submitting a reduced squad.