Does having more foreign players in the team yield more titles and more success in the English Premier League?
Managers and team owners would seem to think so, as a UEFA club licensing bench-marking report released in 2017 has shown that the English Premier League has the largest percentage of foreign players in all of Europe’s Football Leagues. To be specific, 69.2 percent of footballers in the Premier League are born somewhere other than the United Kingdom.
And it’s not just the EPL. The Cypriot First Division has 57.1 percent foreign players and the majority of players are foreigners in 6 more European Leagues (including the Scottish Premiership)
A Growing Trend Of Having Foreign Players In The Team:
The online gaming company Casumo has gathered data on the percentage of players who are foreign born that have played for Manchester United and Arsenal over the decades, going all the way back to 1950 and all the way to 2010.
What their data has shown is that the percentage of players for both clubs who are English, Welsh or Scottish has decreased steadily since the fifties. From the vast majority to a minority for the first time in 2000 in the case of Arsenal, and 2010 in the case of Manchester United.
Back In 1950:
In 1950, the selection of the Manchester United football team was almost entirely English. Of the 18 players that suited up for Man Utd that year, all of them were born in England with the exception of defender Johnny Carey who was from Ireland, fellow defender and Welshman John Warner, and the Scottish Forward Tommy Bogan.
As for Arsenal during this same year, the makeup of the squad was nearly the same (as far as nationalities are concerned): of the 18 players, 15 were English born with the remaining three foreign players being midfielder David Bowen and William Daniel who were both from Wales, and Scottish midfielder Alec Forbes.
Latest On Arsenal:
In the results of the 1950-51 Football Association Challenge Cup, Manchester United and Arsenal played each other in the 5th round, with the former besting the latter with a final result of 1-0. Man Utd was ousted in the next round when they were defeated by Birmingham City.
The 1950-51 FA Cup was won by Newcastle United who won the championship game against Blackpool at Wembley Stadium.
Los Hermanos Robledo
Back at the turn of the 20th century, it was expected that the majority of players on association teams competing for the FA cup would be predominantly English, with some Welsh and Scottish players, and the occasional Irishman. Expectation of having foreign players from any other nationalities on the teams was very little.
Latest On Manchester United:
However, the team that won the FA Cup in 1950-51 had two Chilean born brothers. Yes, Newcastle had striker “George” and defender “Ted” Robledo, who had been born “Jorge” and “Eduardo” Robledo in the Northern Chilean city of Iquique. The brothers had dual citizenship (a Chilean father and a British mother) and they emigrated from Chile to England when George was 5 and Ted was 4.
The Robledo brothers started their professional careers with Barnsley F.C in 1946 before they both made the jump to Newcastle United in 1949. The powerhouse club were primarily interested in the older brother George, but had to sign younger brother Ted Robledo too as George would not concede to playing without his younger sibling.