The Football Association confirmed their plans for Brexit and how they will impact Premier League and EFL transfers post-January. The plan involves entry requirements for overseas players and also states the number of foreign players that clubs are allowed to sign. Clubs will have to follow a new set of criteria when signing overseas players after the 31st of December when England would leave the European Union.
Post-Brexit, players from EU countries will be required to gain a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) like all other overseas players to play for a club in the UK. The GBE will operate completely on a points-based system, where points will be allotted for senior and talented young players based on:
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 securing enough points will get a GBE automatically and players below the threshold may be considered for a GBE by an exceptions panel. That is the system which is currently in place for players outside of the European Union. When considering a player, the body will take into account multiple factors as part of a points system.
Post-Brexit, clubs will also be limited to three overseas signings for players under the age of 21 in the January transfer window. Moving on every year only 6 U21 overseas players can be signed by the clubs. This promotes Homegrown talent and brings only the best to England. Promoting this sector means that clubs will also be able to fill their Home-Grown quota successfully. Also, an added rule is that no U18 overseas player can be signed by a club in the United Kingdom.
These new criteria will have a significant impact on Manchester City and Chelsea as well as other top-level clubs from England who recruit several young players across Europe every season. English Football League clubs, however, may benefit with ‘bigger sides’ forced to shop closer to home, in turn raising their prices and fueling their post-COVID sustainability. Many EFL sides have suffered instability over the long term with COVID disrupting the football season. It will be important to see how they make their comeback after this. It will also be interesting to see how the rule change impacts Premier League squads.