New Football Observatory study unveils crisis of youth training in Europe

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Homegrown talents need to be focused on more.

The latest Monthly Report of the CIES Football Observatory analyses the presence of club-trained players in 460 teams of 31 top division leagues in UEFA member associations.

The study notably shows that the percentage of home-grown footballers in squads has decreased for the sixth consecutive season to reach a new record low.

Following UEFA’s definition, club-trained players are footballers who have been for at least three seasons between the ages of 15 and 21 in their employer team.

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The relative presence of this category of players in squads has steadily decreased from 23.1% in 2009 to only 19.7% in 2015. Club-trained footballers still accounted for more than one fifth of squad members in 2014: 21.0%.

This finding reflects the lesser tendency of European top division clubs to give their chance to players from their youth academy.

As a consequence, the average age of footballers in the 31 top division leagues surveyed has reached a new record high: 26.0 years. The decrease in the proportion of club-trained players also reflects the greater mobility of footballers from their youngest age.

The Report also presents the rankings of clubs who trained the most players active in the leagues surveyed. At the top of the overall table is Partizan Belgrade (78 players trained), followed by Ajax Amsterdam (75 players).

FC Barcelona heads the ranking of clubs who trained the most players under contract with big-5 league teams (44 players), ahead of Olympique Lyonnais (35 players) and Real Madrid (34 players). All data is available in issue number 125 of the Big-5 Weekly Post.

Last but not least, the CIES Football Observatory is pleased to unveil a brand new version of its exclusive Digital Atlas on the demography of footballers in Europe.

This unique tool presents a wide array of indicators allowing users to grasp the latest trends in the European football players’ labour market. The next Monthly Reports will further develop some of the exclusive information presented in the Digital Atlas.

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fahad 10/11/2015
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Gianni Infantino to withdraw from FIFA election if Michel Platini stands

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Stepping away: Gianni Infantino.

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino vowed on Tuesday to withdraw from FIFA's presidential election if Michel Platini, the UEFA president who is serving a 90-day ban from all football-related activities, is allowed to stand.

"Platini is my president and I've worked with him for nine years. It's clear that I have his support, otherwise I would not be running," Infantino told Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

"And there is another thing that must be clarified," he added. "My candidacy is not in opposition to Michel. If he is able to stand, I will withdraw.

"It's a simple principle of loyalty. But right now I am a candidate 100 per cent and I'm moving forward, not only for Europe but for world football."

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Speaking of his plans to run for world football's lead role, Infantino acknowledged he shared "lots of points in common" with Platini in relation to "development and reforms" but that he also had his own ideas.

"I am Infantino and Platini is Platini. It's my programme. The priorities are the same but there will be some differences.

"Seven candidates are in the running to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president for the February 26 election next year.

The other five candidates are Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale.

However, Asian football head Sheikh Salman could also step aside should Platini emerge unscathed from the investigation.

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