Premier League clubs will face new restrictions on the signing of players from outside the UK from the January 2021 transfer window as a consequence of Brexit — the vote of the UK to leave the European Union (EU).
The regulations will make it tougher for Premier League clubs to sign non-UK players, with clubs also unable to sign players from overseas until they are 18.
The UK will leave the EU on Dec. 31 and, from that date onwards, Premier League and EFL clubs will be unable to complete restriction-free transfers for players from the EU.
Following talks between the Premier League, EFL, English Football Association and the government, an agreement has been reached for all potential signings from the EU to secure a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) — a points-based authorisation — before being allowed to move to a UK team.
The GBE will operate a points system, where points are scored 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 and club appearances, based on domestic league and continental competition minutes.
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.
Restrictions on the signing of players aged 21 and under have also been introduced, limiting clubs to three U-21 players in the January window and no more than six per season.
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.”
Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the FA, said that discussions will now take place aimed at improving the prospects of home-grown players in the UK.
“We have a strong working relationship with both the Premier League and EFL and will monitor this new agreement together to ensure it evolves to best meet our joint objectives over time,” Bullingham said.
“We will also discuss improvements to the player pathway for the mutual benefit of football clubs and home-grown talent in this country.”