Surely the reason for this is that clubs have found difficulty finding enough suitable home grown players.There are signs that the game is in decline from a playing point of view. During the 1970s to hire a football pitch for a Sunday league team was almost impossibility, at least it was in my part of London. But today, with less pitches available, there appears to be a glut that are not being used. Maybe kids are more interested in burying their heads in computer games than playing in competitive team games? I don’t know. But even if the majority are stuck in front of their monitors this will still leave tens of thousands of lads, and girls too, who would dearly love to play football. Perhaps more youngsters than ever have the aspiration to become professionals even if they are lured more by the riches than their enjoyment of the game. But this still leaves scores who would love to play for a professional club, less for the money, but for the enrichment it can bring to their lives.
Am I being naive or is this merely too simple? Unfortunately we live in a world dominated by greed and while clubs continue to give in to footballers' pay claims our game is never likely to return to grass roots level.