March 04 According to the latest report by Jason Burt, editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, the FA
Will oppose attempts to make it easier for Premier League clubs to sign more foreign players to bolster their squads amid fears it would harm England’s representation.
The FA is arguing strongly that the point of Brexit and withdrawal from the European Union is not to harm England’s chances of developing players and winning major competitions, and that the danger of harming England’s players is not in line with the current situation.
In the interest of the FA.
While the FA agrees that the current labor certification system needs to be simplified, it will claim this must be combined with a comprehensive review of player development in England.
The government last week announced long-awaited plans to create an independent football regulator, while also revealing it was considering changes to visa rules to make it easier for clubs to sign foreign players.
It comes after the Premier League called for changes to the so-called Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) system, which was set up after Brexit to oversee the issuance of labor work permits.
The GBE labor certification system was established by the Home Office and, in football, it is overseen by the Football Association.
But there are already concerns internally about a lack of opportunities for England’s young talent.
The FA’s target is to have 38% English players in the Premier League.
At present, this ratio is 32%, which is only 28% among the top six teams, which is far lower than that of the Europa League.
Before Brexit, all clubs could go to European teams to buy players, but the opportunities to participate in non-European market transactions were limited.
There is now a points system based on a weighted system, including the strength of their league and the number of national team appearances.
The FA objected to reducing the value of the total points.
Premier League clubs will lobby to change this, for example by allowing more players from the minor leagues – the case cited is Leicester City’s signing of Riyad Mahrez from Ligue 1 – and, crucially,
, to change the so-called “extra permission panel”, which applies to the judging of young players.
The government seems to want to abolish such cases, as some movements use them haphazardly.
The FA believes that clubs have not actually used the system sufficiently and effectively, and that if the rules are too loose, it will harm the interests of English players.
For example, clubs have been able to sign six overseas U21 players – 20 clubs can sign a total of 120 overseas U21 players – but only eight have been brought in this season.
At the same time, they signed 142 overseas players, more than in any other season in the past decade and almost twice as many as in the year before Brexit.
The number of non-EU players has tripled (77) compared to 2019-20.
An FA source said: “We want to help Premier League clubs, but we can’t allow England to suffer in the process. We think we have the means to protect England and help the clubs, but it needs to be agreed by all parties.
The FA is therefore determined to prevent so-called “fillers” – average players or young players – from being brought in in large numbers from overseas, arguing that they would hinder the growth of home-grown talent.
The FA insists that any changes to the labor certification system must favor the development of youth players, not just lower barriers and allow more players from overseas.