It is a delicious irony that Greg Dyke, former BBC Director General and Roland Rat puppet master, has just proposed what is effectively a UKIP style immigration points system for overseas football players wishing to play in English football leagues.  Famous for his jibe about BBC staff being  hideously white, this painfully politically correct member of the liberal left establishment has in his role as Chairman of the Football Association been forced to face up to the consequences of what has essentially been an open door immigration policy for foreign football players.  Clubs have been unable to resist the relatively low cost of importing ‘oven ready’ overseas nationals, and with only a paper door masquerading as a barrier to entry, the percentage of English players in the Premier League has slumped disastrously from over 70% in 1993 to 30% in 2014.

New “objective” criteria are now proposed which will include the quality and quantity of home country domestic football which a player can demonstrate.  The new controls are likely however to have a limited effect since they cannot be applied to players from EU countries, a number of whom have even more accommodating non EU immigration policies than the UK.

If the effect of the open door immigration policies espoused by all political parties other than UKIP is having a damaging effect on the prospects for aspiring young English football players, how much worse is the effect on low paid manual and semi skilled workers? On Tuesday morning’s Today programme, the interviewer parroted the standard Pavlovian response: ‘isn’t this xenophobic?’  Dyke was forced to admit that it did look as if it was but of course it really wasn’t.  One has to wonder what howls of faux outrage would have swept across the airwaves and the Twittersphere if it had been a UKIP spokesperson promoting such a policy.

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