Brighton: Foreigners provide 'better value' than Englishmen

Brighton manager Chris Hughton and Israeli striker Tomer Hemed
Brighton signed Tomer Hemed (right) from Spanish side Almeria for an undisclosed fee

Brighton's chief executive believes foreign players provide better value for money than homegrown signings.

The Seagulls recently brought in Israel international striker Tomer Hemed.

"Unfortunately, English players tend to be much higher priced than foreign players," Paul Barber told BBC Sussex.

"When you are trying to build a squad and get the best value for money, it is inevitable you will look to markets where you can get great quality, but at cheaper prices."

BBC Sport's 'State of the Game' study found that the percentage of minutes of total playing time by Englishmen in the Championship in 2013-14 was 46.38%, with the figure for the Premier League far lower at 32.36%.

Meanwhile, former QPR captain Joey Barton described the culture of English football as "rotten from top to bottom" following England's exit from the European Under-21 Championship last month.

Brighton midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey was a member of the squad which exited the tournament at the group stage.

Jake Forster-Caskey
Jake Forster-Caskey made one appearances for England at the European Under-21 Championship

Barber said having to play a higher premium for homegrown players was only "one of the challenges that English football faces" currently - and that the influx of foreign players deprives Englishmen of game-time.

"We've just seen the Under-21 tournament end in disappointment," he continued. "It makes you wonder whether, if some of our players were playing at a higher level more often, we would do better in those tournaments.

"We do bring in foreign players because they do tend to be better value for money overall.

"The challenge for us is to develop our own players through our academy and bring them into the first team, which is one of our big objectives."

Albion have made two signings so far this summer, with Hemed's arrival at the Amex Stadium preceded by defender Liam Rosenior, and Barber says they still have "a lot of work to do" before the transfer window closes.

"We are in the market for other players and need to strengthen. Our recruitment is an all-year-round process," he added.

"We have players being scouted all over the world every day of the week and reports coming in on those players; whether they fit, whether we can afford them and whether they are available."

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