'Feet-Drain' or 'Feet-Exchange'?: Examining the Effects of Elite Foreign Footballers in the Premier Academy League

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to make sense of the effects of foreign player involvement in English football‟s elite youth academy system. Based upon a series of interviews, conducted as part of a pilot study, with key figures at a highly successful Premier Academy League club, and the Premier League, the paper shows that the involvement of foreign players should not be viewed negatively in terms of processes such as „feet-drain‟. Rather, the involvement of foreign players should be seen to reflect processes of „feet-exchange‟ whereby skills and knowledge are circulated to improve overall standards of performance for indigenous and foreign players. The paper concludes by making a series of observations which help to make sense of the effects of the involvement of foreign players in the Premier Academy League.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
JournalBirkbeck Sports Business Centre Research Paper Series
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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title = "'Feet-Drain' or 'Feet-Exchange'?: Examining the Effects of Elite Foreign Footballers in the Premier Academy League",
abstract = "The aim of this paper is to make sense of the effects of foreign player involvement in English football‟s elite youth academy system. Based upon a series of interviews, conducted as part of a pilot study, with key figures at a highly successful Premier Academy League club, and the Premier League, the paper shows that the involvement of foreign players should not be viewed negatively in terms of processes such as „feet-drain‟. Rather, the involvement of foreign players should be seen to reflect processes of „feet-exchange‟ whereby skills and knowledge are circulated to improve overall standards of performance for indigenous and foreign players. The paper concludes by making a series of observations which help to make sense of the effects of the involvement of foreign players in the Premier Academy League.",
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AB - The aim of this paper is to make sense of the effects of foreign player involvement in English football‟s elite youth academy system. Based upon a series of interviews, conducted as part of a pilot study, with key figures at a highly successful Premier Academy League club, and the Premier League, the paper shows that the involvement of foreign players should not be viewed negatively in terms of processes such as „feet-drain‟. Rather, the involvement of foreign players should be seen to reflect processes of „feet-exchange‟ whereby skills and knowledge are circulated to improve overall standards of performance for indigenous and foreign players. The paper concludes by making a series of observations which help to make sense of the effects of the involvement of foreign players in the Premier Academy League.

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