Premier League, EFL and the FA reach agreement on post-Brexit transfers

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Premier League, EFL and the FA reach agreement on post-Brexit transfers – with new signings from the European Union required to meet threshold for work permit via points-based system
The FA, Premier League and EFL have agreed a plan for players post-Brexit
The three bodies have outlined requirements for a player to be eligible to join
Post-Brexit, clubs will not be able to sign players freely from the European Union
Instead, those EU players will require a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE), which will work as a points-based system in place for non-EU players currently

Premier League clubs will be restricted to signing six overseas players aged under 21 from next season, with no foreign players to be signed who are under 18, after finally agreeing new post-Brexit immigration rules with the FA.

Sportsmail revealed last month that the clubs had reached a late compromise with the FA on a new points-based entry system following a four-year battle. That agreement has now been ratified by the Home Office.

The new regulations will make it more difficult for clubs to sign foreign players, with the current restrictions that apply to players from non-EU countries to be applied universally. The FA hope this will provide more opportunities for homegrown youngsters.

Under a new football-specific Governing Body Entry system — which will give signings a points-score based on their national team, the quality of the selling club and the league they’re in — all foreign players will need 15 points in order to come to the UK.

As Sportsmail disclosed last month, the Premier League had wanted the immigration tally to be nine points, but the FA were pushing for an 18-point cut-off so can claim victory on the issue.

There are three criteria for senior and youth players which earns points for their application.

Senior and youth international appearances
Quality of the selling club, based on the league they are in, league position and progression in continental competition
Club appearances, based on domestic league and continental competition minutes
Players who meet the required threshold will automatically qualify for a GBE and there is also an Exceptions Panel for those who fall just short.

The Exceptions Panel can make calls on those who score between 12 and 14 points.

A statement on behalf of the FA, Premier League and EFL stated that the plan ensures they can all meet ‘joint objectives’ to both continue to house the best talent in Europe while also protecting chances for homegrown players.

In the Premier League, there will be a cap on the number of overseas Under-21 players any one club can sign. The limit in the January window will be three and it will rise to six per season from then on.

The new agreement will come into force once Great Britain’s exit from the EU is confirmed at the start of 2021.

Richard Masters, the Premier League’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The Premier League has worked with The FA to come to an agreement to ensure no part of Brexit should damage the success of the Premier League, or the prospects of the England teams.

‘We welcome the news that the Home Office has approved the Governing Body Endorsement plan for the January 2021 transfer window.

‘Continuing to be able to recruit the best players will see the Premier League remain competitive and compelling and the solution will complement our player development philosophy of the best foreign talent alongside the best homegrown players. Following the January transfer window, we look forward to reviewing the agreement with The FA.’

David Baldwin, chief executive of the EFL, added: ‘The EFL has contributed to the discussions with our colleagues across football as the game prepares for the UK’s exit from the EU, and it is helpful to be able to provide clarity for EFL clubs by having an established position to a long-standing issue ahead of the January transfer window, albeit in the short term.

‘The objective of the EFL throughout this process has been to ensure EFL clubs continue to have the opportunity to sign players from overseas to enhance the quality of their playing squads, while recognising the need for restrictions, and we will continue to assess the application of these rules and consider the long-term implications early in 2021.’

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