Former super-fast, goal-smashing footballer Michael Owen has recently written a blog on the sport social network Sportlobster saying that the UK footy leagues should take on an American football-style draft system. Which got us pondering: does he have a point?
Sure, when we usually sit back and think of awesome sports, American Football doesn’t really spring to mind. It’s the kind of thing that should be some kind of amazing battle royale of contact sports but really, when it boils down to it, it’s just rugby with armour isn’t it?
That said, as Owen points out, they have got a few things going for them, and we’re not just talking about cheerleaders. We’re talking about the draft system.
If that just made your eyes glaze over in confusion, let us explain.
In American (pretend) football, teams adopt a transfer system that sees the creation of a B team, where players can be fairly distributed on a loan basis to teams in lower leagues. This generally happens in specific "free transfer" waves.
It seems a little odd, but basically it allows lower leaguers to benefit from the massive amount of money injected into top-flight training academies as well as providing younger players with invaluable playing experience that they might not always get at their current team.
Owen argues that this would be key in not only developing the standard of lower league football but also letting “young English players learn their trade in the lower leagues”, doing “absolute wonders” for youth development in the sport.
What do you reckon? Is it a winner?
Join the sporting debate over at sporting social network, blog and news site, SportLobster, by clicking here.