Fulham boss Martin Jol sees a brighter future ahead for European football when UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rulings begin to take shape.
The regulations, not yet including the ‘6+5’ rule where teams are obliged to field five homegrown players, are intended to encourage clubs to spend within their means to protect the sustainability and competitiveness of football in Europe.
Jol’s Fulham is likely to benefit from increased parity when UEFA’s raft of sanctions are enforced in 2014, and the Dutchman is convinced the implementation of the controversial ‘6+5 rule’ would help national teams and clubs alike.
“If you talk about Financial Fair Play, you could go on and on and on,” he said. “Everybody takes Barcelona as an example, everybody. But they are 450 million euros in debt!”
“It’s not the fairest set-up, but what I would like to see is the 6+5 rule, which will have the same effect. Play six players from abroad, and five English players. Then you will see the English national team benefit.”
“Of course you have got exceptions like [Wayne] Rooney and [Jack] Wilshere who started young, but these are big, big players.”
“Generally, will you see 19- or 20-year-old players in the England team? No. But if you see the Under-21s now with [Daniel] Sturridge, [Jordan] Henderson, [Phil] Jones – they have all come through the ranks.”
“I think the English are probably on the right path, but you will see if you get the 6+5 rule, it could be good and fair.”
Jol believes Austrian youngster Kerim Frei, a Fulham midfielder, would benefit from the implementation of the 6+5 rule.
“For example, I have got a player now in my reserves, Kerim Frei. He is 17 and has played eight games for us,” he continued.
“Now I feel he would never have played for us if we hadn’t given him the chance or if he was not good enough. But it was a necessity to play him because there was no Clint Dempsey and I needed someone to play on the left.”
“That’s the Dutch way – if your left winger is not there, you play the second one, and if he’s not there you play your third. Kerim Frei has played a few games for us and he was one of our best players against Chelsea.”
“If you have a 6+5 rule there will be more space for young players and it will start to pay off because it is not all about money.”
Though Fulham are only just out of the relegation zone, on four points after six matches, the Dutchman is proud of his side’s style and plans to stick to his playing philosophy.
“My ambition is to follow the same Dutch principle,” he continued. “If you play your best football, starting from the back, the results will come naturally.”
“If you don’t, you go back to the defensive, compact way – it’s good, because it’s the style Fulham used – but to go forward you need to score goals.”
“The focus for me is on the performance and style – if you get that right, then you will achieve your objectives.”
“On Saturday we could have won easily – we could have beaten Chelsea. Against Man City we came from two down to make it 2-2 and could have nicked it at the end.”
“If you play good football, your opponent will be under pressure, and they will be the ones who have to shift to a 4-5-1, and that was good to see against Man City.”
Fulham host Premier League new boys QPR on Sunday at Craven Cottage.
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