While the free movement of labor in the EU has been a great boon for teams like Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United who can now field the best of the best players. Critics have voiced concerns that the domestic game, and by extension the national team, in each country would suffer as there are less spots available for home-grown talent. Never mind that the best English players can also now easilty go play in Span – Beckham & Owens in Real Madrid, but the concern isn’t for super stars that can play in any league.
Well, it looks like UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, is proposing requiring that 8 players in a 25 man team be from the home country for European competitions. This only affects continental competions such as the Champions League and UEFA cup, so in domestic league games teams could still field all-foreigner teams.
The first-order effect of the rule is to increase demand for marginal home-grown players (those on the second team) in countries like England where they are scarce relative to the talent that can be imported. There will be some effect on the best home-grown players, but mostly on allocation and not price.