Premier League clubs will no longer be able to sign foreign youngsters under the age of 18 after after post-Brexit transfer rules were confirmed on Tuesday evening.
Clubs will also be restricted to just three overseas signings under the age of 21 from January onwards, and only six foreign players per season moving forwards.
At a time when the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are snapping up Europe’s best stars at increasingly young ages, it puts Premier League clubs firmly behind the eight ball when it comes to landing the game’s best teenage talent.
The simple fact is, it could cost them millions.
It will also see the Premier League elite increasingly raid the academy systems of lower league English clubs – which is devastating news for those clubs, given the compensation afforded is never really fit for purpose.
The Premier League, EFL and the Football Association have agreed a framework with the Home Office for EU players to move to English football on a points basis decided by a Governing Body Endorsement panel.
Points will depend 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
The criteria will provide the framework for Premier League and EFL clubs to sign overseas players when the UK leaves the European Union (EU) after 31 December 2020.
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.”
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “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.”
In a joint statement, the Premier League, EFL and FA declared: “The system meets the joint objectives of the Premier League and The FA allowing access to the best players and future talent for clubs, as well as safeguarding England teams, by ensuring opportunities for homegrown players.
“The agreement is in accordance with the Government’s required criteria and will come into effect when the UK leaves the European Union in the new year.
“It will be implemented in the January 2021 transfer window and reviewed in full ahead of the summer 2021 transfer window.”
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