The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

ENGLISH foot­ball used to have a trickle-down econ­omy. A First Divi­sion club would buy a Sec­ond Divi­sion player. Part of the fee would be re-in­vested in a Third Divi­sion player, and so on. Not any more.

The top flight clubs shop, al­most exclusively, overseas. What pur­chases are made from the EFL tend to be pick­ing off the bet­ter play­ers from rel­e­gated clubs, such as Nathan Red­mond, Moussa Sis­soko, Idrissa Gu­eye.

This sum­mer, Premier League clubs, ac­cord­ing to Deloitte’s au­dit of tabloid trans­fer fees, spent £630m net of their TV wind­fall overseas and sent only £55m (net) the way of their rel­a­tively im­pov­er­ished Foot­ball League cousins.

How­ever, EFL clubs are not re­ally in a po­si­tion to com­plain when, in­creas­ingly, they are also look­ing abroad. QPR, Leeds, Read­ing, Wolves, Hud­der­s­field and Ful­ham are among clubs to in­vest sig­nif­i­cantly in Con­ti­nen­tal play­ers this sum­mer. All ex­cept Leeds are for­eign-man­aged, as are this sum­mer’s most un­ex­pect­edly ac­tive pur­suers of for­eign tal­ent.

When the trans­fer win­dow closed, one of the most in­ter­est­ing ledgers was at Vale Park, where the dead­line day ar­rivals of Miguel San­tos and Gezim Sha­laj meant man­ager Bruno Ribeiro can now pick an en­tire start­ing XI of for­eign play­ers, al­beit one top-heavy with mid­field­ers.

Port Vale are within their rights to build a squad how­ever they want (at least un­til Brexit is com­plete), but it is not be­ing a Lit­tle Eng­lan­der to won­der if this is good for our game. Still, if Vale go up there will be plenty fol­low­ing suit next sea­son.

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