Post-Brexit rules to hit EU, international signings

Post-Brexit rules to hit EU, international signings

LONDON • Premier League clubs will not be allowed to sign players from European Union (EU) countries without a work permit while foreign players under the age of 18 cannot be signed at all as part of post-Brexit regulations, the league said on Tuesday.

In a joint statement with the country’s governing football body (FA) and the English Football League (EFL), the Premier League said the regulations will come into effect when the mid-season transfer window opens in January 2021.

With the UK leaving the EU on Dec 31, following a standstill transition period, the league submitted the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) proposal to the government last month and it has been approved by the Home Office.

“Post-Brexit, clubs will not be able to sign players freely from the EU,” the league said in a statement. “Players from EU countries who want to play in the Premier League or EFL will be required to gain a GBE, like all other overseas players without the right to work in the UK.”

The criteria to sign players is based on a point system which considers the number of senior and youth international appearances, club appearances as well as the quality of the selling club, its league position and league itself.

“Players accumulating the requisite amount of points will earn a GBE automatically, while players just below the threshold may be considered for a GBE by an exceptions panel,” it added.

However, under the new rules, clubs will no longer be allowed to sign overseas players until they turn 18.

Premier League clubs will be allowed to sign a maximum of three Under-21 players in January and will be limited to six per season.

The regulations will be reviewed before the transfer window that opens after the 2020-21 season.

“Despite having different starting perspectives on how Brexit should impact football, this is another example of how the football authorities can work effectively together for the greater good of the game,” FA chief executive officer Mark Bullingham said.

Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, added: “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.”

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE