ANYONE RECALL DAYS OF BUYING BRITS?
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.