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  • 6+5 rule (2009)


    Some European clubs have a team that entirely consists of foreign players, which was by some perceived as an undesirable situation. It was proposed to apply a rule which would constrain the number of foreign players to 5. Hypercube studied the sportive and financial implications of the implementation of this 6+5 rule. 


    The European Club Association (ECA) represents the European top football clubs in Europe. Given the fact that there was widespread uncertainty about the implications of applying the 6+5 rule, Hypercube was asked by ECA to conduct an independent study.


    Hypercube developed a simulation model to study the financial and sportive implications of the implication of the 6+5 rule. Based on the contribution of the results to match in the past, a ‘player quality index’ has been developed, which indicated for all European and domestic competitions the sporting quality of a player. E.g. a player that scored goals at important moments and during difficult matches, would receive top ranking.

    Subsequently, international competitions and transfers were simulated, virtually implementing the 6+5 rule. Countries that have a lot of good players playing abroad were now facing the return of those players to their own clubs.


    Hypercube concluded that the implementation of the 6+5 rule would have a positive effect on the sporting quality in certain countries. Overall, the quality of National Teams did not improve and the competitive progress decreased. Moreover, in certain developing countries the free players market was heavily disturbed by the introduction of such a rule. The introduction of the 6+5 rule was overall seen as unfavorable for European football, especially in terms of financial and sporting perspective.

    The ECA presented the outcome of the Hypercube report to the European Commission.