The CIES Football Observatory 2014 Demographic study has just been released and it covers 31 top division European league of UEFA member associations, comprising of 472 clubs and 11,653 players.
The findings show that the Premier League is recruiting more and more players from abroad, fewer players are coming through the ranks and France is the biggest European exporter of players to other Euro leagues.
Here are a few of the headline findings;
Only 13.6% of players in the Premier League are ‘club-trained’, which basically means playing for the same club that developed them through the ranks. This compares to an average of 21.2% for all European leagues.
Brazil still come top as the country exporting most players to European leagues though the number has dropped from the 2009 high of 538 to 471.
The country that comes second with the highest number of players exported to other European Leagues is France and while in 2009 there were 247 frenchmen playing in other Euro leagues, that has now risen to 306.
While the country with the biggest rise in exported players was Spain, with a figure of 57 of their countrymen playing in other Euro league in 2009, rising to 178 in 2013.
When it comes to importing players from other countries then no surprise to see England leading the way amongst the major leagues, 60.4% of players in the Premier League are ‘ex-patriates’ recruited from other countries.
One feather in the cap for the Premier League is the fact that it has the highest proportion of players with a full international cap for their respective countries, a massive 44.3% of players having international recognition.
(CIES Football Observatory is dedicated to the statistical analysis of sport and has done so since 2005. Their specialism is in studying the football ‘labour market’, performance analysis at both team and player level, plus predictive models to determine the outcome of competitions.)