Post-Brexit transfer rules for Premier League and EFL clubs confirmed with restrictions on signing EU players

With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on December 31st, 2020, rules around transfers outside of the UK will change overnight and clubs will no longer be able to freely sign players from the EU.

The Home Office has approved the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) proposal sent to the Government by the FA last month, which means EU players will now have to meet a points-based system to sign for UK clubs.

Clubs will also be barred from signing overseas players under the age of 18.

English football’s governing bodies have set out a plan points system under which players must obtain 15 points to gain a GBE and make the move to an English club.

Points will be given out based on international appearances at senior and youth level, the status of the selling club, their league and progression in cup competitions in their country and the Champions and Europa League.

Internationally capped players who play for a nation inside the top 50 of FIFA’s world rankings for the majority of their international career will automatically pass and earn a GBE, while those who play in one of Europe‘s top five, or Band 1 under the plan, will comfortably gain more than 15 points.

Clubs who identify a transfer target who racks up between 10 and 14 points can put their case to an Exceptions Panel in order to obtain a GBE.

Premier League clubs will only be able to sign three Under-21 players next month and six per season in the future. Claims made to the Exceptions Panel will cost clubs £5,000 and will not be available in January 2021.

There are similar criteria for youth players as well as the woman’s game while a points system will also be in operation for coaching staff and directors of football.

“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 CEO, Mark Bullingham, said.

“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. We will also discuss improvements to the player pathway for the mutual benefit of football clubs and homegrown talent in this country.”

Premier League chief, Richard Masters, 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.”

EFL Chief Executive, David Baldwin, said: “The EFL has contributed to the discussions with our colleagues across football as the game prepares for the UK’s exit from the EU, and it is helpful to be able to provide clarity for EFL Clubs by having an established position to a long-standing issue ahead of the January transfer window, albeit in the short term.

“The objective of the EFL throughout this process has been to ensure EFL Clubs continue to have the opportunity to sign players from overseas to enhance the quality of their playing squads, while recognising the need for restrictions, and we will continue to assess the application of these rules and consider the long-term implications early in 2021.”

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