the top skill in the game used to be 6. this was up until around the millenium or just after maybe when paul changed it to 9. if you had a player with a 6 in anything that was top notch. players with a 4 skill was a good premiership player, and was the marker for what you'd want in your team. even a 3 wasn't terrible. whereas now a skill of 6 is a good premiership player with 5 being the absolute minimum. so, though ratings have gone up, that coincides with paul making the gap in skill level wider, which would make it relative to the PTCR if PTCRs were accurate. whats actually happened to the game is that the skill gap between a top class and good premiership player has got wider, but the PTCR's have not.
the rating system probably should have just stayed as it was so that anything in the 90s is world class. and keep everyone else below that level. if it were me, id reserve skills of 8s and 9s for ratings of 90 and over and everybody else no more than 7. a rating is just a rating at the end of the day but i must say i preferred it when it was easy to know what rating a player should be.
basically the old system was:
84 current rating - premiership player
85 current rating - fringe international - squad member
86 current rating - international (david batty was a 9086)
88 current rating - regular international
90 current rating - world class players
above 90 - superstars. there were very few of these. alan shearer was a 9696, Rai was the only 9999 in the game for a long while as previously mentioned.
the way i interpret things we currently are:
99 - world class (debatable for many)
97 - regular international
95 - international
94 - fringe international or squad member without a cap
92 - premiership
90 - lower premiership
88 - championship
86 - league one?