The number of minutes played by club-trained players in the Premier League has hit an all-time low according new research.
The study by CIES Observatory focuses on the demographic evolution of the big-5 European leagues since the start of the 2009/10 season. It notably shows that the percentage of minutes played by club-trained footballers in the Premier League reached a new record low during the current season.
After having reached its maximum in August 2011 (13.6%), the percentage of minutes played by club-trained footballers in the Premier League has decreased steadily up until the present time of just 6.1%.
Moreover, clubs that fielded the least amount of club-trained players were more likely to be relegated. Blackpool’s youth played just 0.1% minutes of the club’s games in the Premier League 2011, which they finished in 19th place, whilst Bolton Wanderers played just 1.4% of total minutes during their relegation season in 2011.
By contrast Real Sociedad’s club trained footballers played 71.5% during 2012 when they finished 4th in LaLiga, whilst FC Barcelona’s players were on the pitch for 63.3% of the time during their title winning season in 2013.
The Report also highlights the increase in the playing time of expatriate footballers at the level of the five major European championships. Between 2009 and 2017, the percentage of minutes played by expatriates went up from 44.4% to 48.2%. A new record high was measured in January 2017: 48.7%.
Today, expatriates already play the majority of minutes in the Premier League and the Italian Serie A.
The employment level of young players also varies considerably according to league. During the period studied, the French Ligue 1 overtook the German Bundesliga to become the competition where teams have the most confidence in U21 players.
At the other extreme, the Premier League overtook the Italian Serie A as the league in which U21 footballers have the least amount of playing time.
During the last six months, the percentage of domestic league minutes played by U21 footballers was 5.2% for the Premier League, 10.1% for the Serie A, 11.1% for the Liga, 13.3% for the Bundesliga and 15.7% for the Ligue 1.
In England, the current value is very close to the record low measured in August 2013.
Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic