Sir Alex Ferguson says the English Football Association's decision to scrap the travelling time restrictions will help prevent English clubs being forced to look abroad for talent.
No time restrictions will help clubs look for talent at home, not abroad
Sir Alex Ferguson said the English Football Association's decision to scrap the travelling time restrictions will help prevent English clubs being forced to look abroad for top talent.
Speaking in Dubai on Thursday, Fabio Capello, the England coach, has questioned the motives behind Europe's top clubs luring young players from outside their own countries and, in some cases, continents.
Ferguson accepts why so many observers are concerned at the situation and admits he has been forced to look abroad himself, signing the Da Silva brothers, Rafael and Fabio, from Brazil as 14 year olds. But the Manchester United manager said the situation was caused by the FA's own rules, which made clubs concentrate on their own locality to fill their academies, something he said is impractical.
"The new rules are bound to help," he said.
"The academy rules, as they were, the distance that players could sign, an hour and a half [journey] away, or an hour up to [the age of] 14, seemed ridiculous when you think I could bring a boy over from Amsterdam or Ireland. It was silly.
"With the point Fabio [Capello] has made, the new regulations will allow clubs to put their energies into scouting and coaching in their own countries."
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, used his own example to claim the situation is actually getting better.
"I left home when I was 13 because I wanted to play football," he said.
"I had to leave my parents and my family and I was alone. It was not easy.
"However, now you have the possibility to move to another city, or another country, and your parents, or someone from your family, can come with you.
"That is very important."