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Crystal Palace have Europe’s biggest squad, study finds

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By Stephen Sharman

Tuesday 21 January 2014

A new study released has revealed that Crystal Palace have the largest squad in Europe’s top 31 divisions BBC Sport has reported.

Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park

The CIES Football Observatory findings show that the Premier League side have had 34 players at their club who have either played for them this season or over the past two years.

The figure means that Palace top the overall standings, surpassing Arsenal, Italian side Chievo and French outfit Ajaccio, who are next with 31 players in their squads.

The study says of Palace's strategy: “This reflects poor strategic planning as many established professionals do not even have the right to participate in league games.

“This may prove detrimental for team spirit over the long term.”

Teams in the Premier League are given a 25-man squad limit, which means that nine players in Tony Pulis’ team are yet to feature for the new manager this season.

Figures for the study were taken on the October 1 with some of Palace’s players then having left in the current window, including Kevin Phillips and Jimmy Kebe.

Palace were promoted to the Premier League last season under Ian Holloway, and signed 16 players during the summer transfer window.

The study also revealed that the percentage of foreign players in each league has hit a peak with 36.8% growing up in a different country to where they now work.

France remains the most well-represented nation in the Premier League with Newcastle United’s squad containing 11 of the 49 currently playing in England’s top division.

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