B2S, Yep, I know we started it - but is like anything, if you do it in moderation it's beneficial. It's only when it's taken to extremes that you get a problem. And that is what has happened.
I see that there are multiple reasons why it's occurred - clubs trying to keep up with the Joneses (even div 4 teams now have foreign players) - the 'attraction' of a foreign name on fans (ie get 'em in the gate) - the original price comparison as stated. The problem is that it is a self fulfilling system - ie we need to buy foreign players 'cause our players aren't good endough (or cost more) - so the money leaves the country, meaning we can't bring through players of quality. I was never convinced that we had lesser 'ability' players anyway - the only difference was the old coaching mentality (ie the skill had been coached out of our players rather than in). Remember those cold, wet, freezing games periods playing with a leather ball that soaked up water (and ended up weighing more than a medicine ball?) and had a laced up valve opening? That caused the main emphasis to be on work rate - '....run and keep warm lad...'. That mentality in the 'British' game gave us great 'workhorses' and little skill (compare caps given to Brian Ronson (90) to that of Glenn Hoddle(53)). So, really, what we needed way back was a change in mentality - still play faster than the opposition, but at the same time increase the skill levels - so at least a player knew how to trap a ball. See what Hoddle said about his time in Monaco. So because of that 'screwed' up thinking (and it's still embedded at grass roots level) we end up buying more 'skillful' foreigners rather than cultivating our own. The death knell for British players - and I think eventually for the lower leagues.
Hopefully, someone like Hoddle and his coaching school may redress the balance - but he even had to set that up abroad. What a nonsense.
Here endeth the lesson.
PS maybe the FA will realise at some point - but they all seem like those cartoon characters at the moment - tooooooooo busy with the £ signs spinning round in their eyeballs to worry about the effect of their inaction.