Europe’s leading clubs are divided over UEFA’s decision that clubs playing in European competitions must have at least eight homegrown players in their squads from the start of the 2008-09 season.

Thomas Kurth, general manager of the G14 group, representing many of Europe’s leading clubs, admitted that his members were divided on the issue.

“What the clubs are agreed on is that any rule that UEFA implement must be guaranteed in line with EU law.

“It must have 100 per cent legal certainty. If the clubs accommodated the new rule and it was later seen in say, the European Court of Justice that it was not valid, it would be the clubs who would have to carry the burden of the consequences and not UEFA.”

UEFA announced yesterday that clubs taking part in their competitions, would, from the start of the 2006-07 season have to have four homegrown players in their squads, with the quota increasing to eight by 2008-09.

The nationality of a homegrown player will be irrelevant in a bid to comply with EU employment laws.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said the proposal merits careful consideration.

“Without jumping in, which a lot of people are doing at the moment, I think we have to assess what UEFA are saying and if they are doing it for the good of the game then I think we have to listen and pay attention to it,” said Ferguson.

“We have always placed great store in that and pride ourselves on the number of players who have come through.