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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s plan to introduce a limit on the number of overseas players.

“For the good of the game in England, it would be good to see more home-based players at the top clubs,” he said.

Ferguson, who has built a team combining British and overseas players, believes that clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool who rely largely on foreign players, would be the most vehement critics of Blatter’s plan.

“I totally agree [with Blatter], but there would be opposition from clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal.

“It’s certainly not wrong that clubs should be seen to have a proportion of home-based players.

“You want to protect your own, and there is nothing wrong with that and that’s why Arsenal will protest the loudest.

“United’s critics would say ‘It’s all right for you, you already have English players in your side’. But I think if you asked a neutral, they would rather see more home-based players.”

Blatter wants clubs to be limited to five foreigners in their starting XI to allow homegrown talent to prosper.

The Premier League says under EU law it would not be possible, but Ferguson believes the clubs could bypass the legal system by voluntarily agreeing to the quota system.

“Under the present Treaty of Rome you couldn’t make it law – it would have to be an agreement between the clubs,” said the 65-year-old Scot.

“But if it went to a vote, I think it would get through, even though there would be opposition from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, who have strong Spanish and French connections.

“It would certainly be a contentious issue but I agree with the principle of it.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has already responded to Blatter’s proposals by saying such a move would harm English football and “kill the Premier League”.

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