I took a little look at the breakdown of foreign players who have appeared in the Premier League, since its creation in the 1992/93 season. The graph above shows the fruits of my labour.
It is widely acknowledged that since the formation of the Premier League, the number of foreign players playing in the English top flight has been increasing over time, however I wanted to see if over this period there had been any sort of shift in terms of the locations these players were arriving from. Interestingly, the graph shows that firstly, the actual number of foreign players in the Premier League does now appear to have plateaued out, and to date in the 2011/12 season, the number of foreign players who have taken part in at least 1 game, has actually dropped quite considerably. Obviously, the season hasn’t yet finished, so there is still scope for this figure to move upwards, however, since the 2007/08 season, the number of foreign players has not risen, from a high of 276 players. The overall picture shows that the number of European players seems to have stabilized, whereas the proportion of African and South American players is still rising.
This graph forms the first part of a body of statistics that I am looking to put together over the next few months, so keep checking back for the next round of findings…
For the purposes of clarity, foreign players are defined in this case as players who’s countries of birth are outside of: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In order to be included in the findings, the player must have taken part in at least 1 Premier League game during the season in question.