As modern football continues to evolve, the schedule is becoming increasingly packed, especially for top clubs who aspire to compete on various fronts between August and June.
Thus, in addition to quality, a big European side requires squad depth, as playing twice per week using the same lineup is impractical, to say the least. This leads us to the big dilemma regarding the ideal number of players in the squad and the rules regulating this matter.
So is there a limit to the number of players a club can have? How many players can a team register in the Premier League? And what about the Champions League?
Let’s reveal the answers.
Is There a Limit on Home Many Players a Club Can Have?
There is no specific rule that limits the number of players a football club can have on the books. Therefore, clubs can sign as many footballers as they fancy, nonetheless, registration rules and financial management can be regarded as indirect restrictions.
As we’ll further explain below, football leagues tend to limit the number of players a club can register on the participation list. So what’s the point of having 40 players in the team if you can only choose 25 in the squad list that takes part in a certain competition?
The Premier League and Champions League both set the limit at 25, albeit with minor differences as we’ll find out below.
Moreover, every player in the squad commands wages – mostly hefty ones – so it would be illogical from an economic standpoint to collect players and hand them large salaries while scarcely deploying them.
What is the Maximum Squad Size in the Premier League?
The maximum squad size in the Premier League is currently set at 25. Moreover, an EPL squad cannot include more than 17 players who aren’t considered as “Home-Grown Players”, as explained by the league’s official website. This squad is submitted at the end of each transfer session.
But in addition to the 25 players who consist the main squad, a Premier League side can also add U21 players to the fold. These youngsters can come in handy, especially when the senior squad gets ravaged by injuries.
What is a “Home-Grown Player”?
According to the Premier League’s rules, a “Home-Grown Player” is a footballer who spent at least three seasons or 36 months at a football club based in England or Wales before reaching the age of 21.
It’s worth noting that the “Home-Grown Player” status is irrespective of the player’s nationality or age, but the lone criteria considered is the one mentioned in the previous paragraph.
What is the Maximum Squad Size in the Champions League?
The maximum size of the Champions League squad is 25 players on “List A”. However, the list must include at least eight “locally trained players” (four of which “club-trained”), otherwise, the squad number must be reduced accordingly.
According to article 45 of the Champions League regulations, a “locally trained player” is either a “club-trained player” or an “association-trained player”.
A “club-trained” player is a footballer who spent at least three years at his current club between the age of 15 and 21, while the “association-trained player” is someone who spent a similar period of formation at another club from the same football association.
The Difference Between “List A” and “List B”
“List A” mostly represents the club’s senior squad. As we mentioned above, the limit is set at 25, but it would decrease if the club can’t register at least eight “locally trained players”.
On the other hand, “List B” can include an unlimited number of youngsters throughout the course of the season. It’s mostly reserved for players who are at most 21 years of age. This list must be submitted on the day before the match.
Can a Club Update Their Champions League Squad During the Season?
A club can make a maximum of three changes in its Champions League squad before the start of the knockout stages. Contrary to the old rules, the new regulations allow a club to register players who had featured for another team in the same competition earlier in the season.
Moreover, a club may ask for permission to make a temporary change if the manager has less than two available goalkeepers on “List A” at his disposal due to injuries.