As I understand it these are the rules that need to be followed. Each club must have a squad of 25 players of which 8 must be considered "home grown." Home grown means that a player has been registered with an English or Welsh club for three years between the ages of 16 and 21.
It's English and Welsh teams rather than also Scottish and Northern Irish, because two Welsh clubs play in the English leagues.
In addition any player under the age of 21 in January of 2010 does not count against the squad total. Which means for example, Mario Balotelli is in the City first team squad but is not part of the 25 man squad for rule requirement, but can still play.
Also crucially the 25 man squad is only an issue for Premier League games. The FA Cup and Carling Cup are not impacted by this ruling.
City have 28 players, not counting 4th string goalkeeper David Gonzalez, who are in consideration for the 25 man squad. Of these 28, two of them Shaleum Logan and Kelvin Etuhu are fringe players and frankly I don't believe they make the squad.
This leaves 26 including Caicedo, RSC and Robinho all of whom it has been suggested will be playing somewhere else as of next week. Therefore unless I am mistaken the wild hysteria in the press about City needing to make massive cuts has been just that, wild hysteria.
Here's how it breaks down
City's 26 players
Shay Given, Stuart Taylor, Joe Hart, Jerome Boateng, Wayne Bridge, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong, David Silva, Adam Johnson, Michael Johnson, James Milner, Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira, SWP, Emmanuel Adebayor, Felipe Caicedo, Robinho, Jo, RSC and Tevez.
Of those 26 players, Taylor, Hart, Bridge, Lescott, Richards, Barry, A. Johnson, M. Johnson, Milner, and SWP are considered home grown which is two more than the minimum. Curiously if Caicedo had joined in the summer of 2007 rather than January of 2008 he also would be considered home grown.
City also have 9 first team players who are under 21 for the purposes of the regulations. They are Boyata, Cunningham, Mee, Vidal, McDermott, Balotelli, Ibrahim, Nimely and Poole. All of these players are eligible to play in the Premier League at any point during the season without counting against the 25 man squad regulation.
If, as appears to be the case, Robinho joins AC Milan then City are effectively in compliance for the season.
What strikes me about this is just how young of a squad City have. Boyata, Balotelli and Boateng are all 21 or younger. Richards and M. Johnson are 22 while Hart, A. Johnson and Jo are 23. There's a core group, Kolarov, Kompany, Silva and Milner aged 24 while Zabaleta and de Jong are 25. Which leaves the strike force of Adebayor and Tevez at 26. Throw in Small Berries at 27 and this is a squad that could really grow together over the next 3 years or so.
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