Associated Press  |  Last updated February 08, 2013
Buy two French footballers, get another two for free. That isn't quite how things panned out but it is almost how they looked when the English Premier League did its shopping this winter in France, carting away some of the 1998 World Cup winner's top talents as though they were on special offer. Newcastle United, with a squad now just one-part English, two parts rest of the world, has become so Francophile that it should consider renaming itself Chateau Neuf. The quaint, old ideal that football clubs should recruit locally or at least nationally to preserve their character and links to their surrounding communities is precisely that: quaint and old. Priority No. 1 for clubs in the Premier League is staying there, not requiring that players actually know something about the team or its city before they join. Martians would be welcome if they could find a work permit and the back of the net. Do that and few care if they don't speak a word of Geordie, the Newcastle dialect, or the qu...
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