Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

NEW Labour has long exploited football to increase its own appeal among the masses, so it was perhaps only a matter of time before it started to poke its nose into the running of the game. The employment select committee (which consists of six Labour members and one Conservative) is concerned about the number of foreign players in the premiership, and is pushing for a maximum of six per team. The idea is to boost the number of native English players and so help strengthen the national team.

Labour has nailed its colours so firmly to the mast of European integration that it comes as a shock when its MPs show such blatant disregard for the central tenet of the single market: that citizens of member states be free to live and work wherever in Europe they choose.

Discriminating against football players on the basis of their nationality is nonsense anyway; since few, say, Manchester United players actually come from Manchester, what difference does it make if they come from Walton-on-Thames, Dublin or Milan? …

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