Monday, April 13, 2009
Premier League Capitalizes on Serie A Failure
Here is an article I submitted to the website Premiership Talk. Hopefully it will be published soon so I guess in reading this your getting a sneak preview. I will be writing for the site in the future so be sure to check it out.
The newest hero in Manchester, Federico Macheda, has made an immediate impact on his club, while at the same time exposing a flaw in the way Serie A does business.
The Italian Macheda was born in Rome in 1991, and began playing for the youth squads of the Serie A club Lazio when he was 15. Macheda showed great promise and talent, however Italian soccer regulations state that a player is unable to sign a professional contract with a team until his 18th birthday. This rule did not make Macheda legally connected to Lazio in any way while he was playing for them. Shortly after his 16th birthday Macheda decided to make his talents to the Premier League, a league where regulations allow you to sign players from 16 years old and up. The Premier League had stolen a player away from Serie A because they allowed themselves to do it.
In America leagues have age requirements, and they are followed by players because there is no competition. If the NFL says that you have to be a certain age to play, players will follow the rule because there are no other leagues to go play in. This does not happen in the world of soccer. If Serie A tells you that you are too young to play, there are countless other leagues such as the Premier League that would love to have you.
My view on sports has always been this: If you're good enough to play, you should be able to play. Of Macheda, Sir Alex Ferguson said, "He's only 17 years old but if you're good enough at this club, you'll play." I believe Serie A should change their regulations to the Premier League's and allow themselves to sign younger players. It would allow for younger players like Macheda to make an impact on clubs, and keep home grown talent in their native country.
The Serie A needs to look at the Premier League and realize that it's not everyday that you get an extremely talented 17 year old, and they shouldn't be limiting themselves on who can play.
Manchester United has certainly benefited from a failure in Italy.
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