Premier League chief Richard Masters plots to bypass the FA and bring in special visas

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Premier League chief Richard Masters plots to bypass the FA and bring in special visas for players as top flight’s Brexit fears spark tense row
The FA want to profit from Brexit by reducing the amount of foreign stars allowed
Meanwhile, the Premier League wants the post-separation import laws slacked
They could cut the FA out with Richard Masters planning a special visa scheme

The Premier League may sideline the Football Association in a historic bid to persuade the Home Office to bring in a special visa system, as the row over post-Brexit quotas rages on with days to the deadline.

Crisis talks will be held on Tuesday between clubs after ‘difficult discussions’ with the governing body failed to reach an agreement.

In a lengthy email sent to chairmen and chief executives and seen by Sportsmail, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters paints a stark picture of the situation with FA chairman Greg Clarke and discloses that they may swerve the FA entirely and present their own visa system to the Home Office.

Following the UK’s exit from the single market on December 31, new immigration laws for football will have to be introduced.

The FA, in what they believe is a bid to increase the number of players available for England selection, are keen to use Brexit to reduce the number of foreign players allowed, while the Premier League believe import rules should be slackened.

A deadline of this coming Saturday had been set for an agreement but that date could be pushed back.

Clarke told clubs that they will send the FA’s own proposals to the Home Office should there be no deal, adding that he believes they would then be adopted.

But Masters says the Home Office could instead decide on the league’s visa regime for sports professionals.

He says that the Premier League could attempt to dodge the FA and present their own system to the Government.

Within the three-page document, Masters states that following ‘difficult discussions’ the league’s ideas ‘do not sit easily’ with the FA’s position. Masters also says the FA’s proposals ‘will reduce the talent available’ and lower standards.

‘While attempts have been made by both sides to narrow the gap, as things stand there remains a considerable distance,’ he added.


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