1. It would increase the wages of domestic players. This is trivial; demand for them would rise.
2. It would raise the profits of all clubs. This is because an unlimited market in foreign players causes an “arms race”; if Manyoo spend heavily on foreign players, their rivals must also do so. The result is that profits are eaten up by big transfer fees. Limiting foreign players stops this arms race.
3. It would improve competition. This follows from the premise that the limit on foreign players is more binding upon the bigger teams than the smaller. Stoke or West Brom can‘t buy top-quality foreign players anyway, so restricting the ability to do so hurts them less than it does the bigger teams.
All of which raises the question: who would lose? One set of losers would be good-but-not-great players from countries with poor domestic leagues. These would lose the opportunity to earn big money overseas. Another set of losers would be the better teams with many foreigners, as some of these leave to be replaced by less-good English equivalents. The losses would be especially great for the teams with limited budgets, as they would be less able to buy English replacements of a tolerable quality.
It goes without saying that freedom would also be a loser - hence European Commission’s hostility to the proposed rule.
. But so too might justice. Do we really want a rule that improves the job prospects of Joey Barton, but worsens those of Kolo Toure?