Premier League clubs banned from U18 player signings after Brexit – The Athletic

Why are the rules being introduced?

When the UK leaves the EU on December 31, players from European clubs of any age will not be able to freely move to clubs in the UK as they have been doing.

New entry requirements for players joining UK clubs from overseas were, therefore, required before the January transfer window opened and clubs were permitted to sign players again.

How have they come about?

The Premier League, FA and EFL have been in dialogue for some months over the exact entry requirements for transfers from overseas.

The regulations are designed to safeguard the future of the England national football team, while also allowing domestic clubs to remain competitive and have the ability to sign the best players.

What does this rule involve?

Under FIFA’s regulations, international transfers are only allowed if the player is over 18.

However, there is an exemption for the EU and the European Economic Area which allows players between the ages of 16-18 to move clubs providing they receive a sufficient standard of football training and academic teaching,

With the UK leaving the EU, Premier League clubs must, from January 1, wait until players are 18 or older before they are able to sign them.

Are there any other standout rules?

Players joining the Premier League from EU clubs will have to gain a ‘Governing Body Endorsement’ (GBE).

The GBE will operate on a points-based system that is similar to the current work permit arrangement in place for transfers from outside the EU.

The number of overseas under-21 players a club can sign will also be limited, starting at three in this coming transfer window and then limited to six per season from the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign.

How will work permits be decided?

The points-based system will factor in:

  • “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 are just short of meeting the threshold may be considered for a GBE by an ‘Exceptions Panel’.

(Photo: Visionhaus)


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