EFL clubs fear that their young talent will be poached by Premier League sides as a result of proposed changes to current homegrown quota regulations following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.
A post-Brexit homegrown quota proposal could see restrictions imposed that would see the number of non-homegrown players in a Premier League club’s 25-man squad reduced from 17 to 13.
This rule would be made to make space for more domestic talent, which align with the FA’s focus to encourage more British players to be given increased first team opportunities.
With the UK having now left the EU, the Brexit transition period will run until December 31. As a general rule to all clubs, no side will be allowed to sign an overseas player under the age of 18 once that period has elapsed. However, the Daily Mail claim that some trade agreements may be able to bypass this rule from certain European countries.
Prior to Brexit, clubs were permitted to sign players under the age of 18 from other EU countries, despite FIFA rules prohibiting such international transfers. Brexit could even result in more players needing work permits to play in any level of English football.
Ideas to work around these new rules have been mooted, but the end result remains that Premier League club’s would require more homegrown talent.
As the Mail highlight, the growing fear remains that these new regulations will see top flight clubs raid lower division sides in an effort to meet their homegrown quota.
Discussions between the FA and the Premier League about how to work around these new quota rules have been taken place, but no agreement on how to handle the future regulations has been reached. The Mail add that these changes are expected to be implemented on a staggered basis, allowing clubs times to comply with the new arrangements.
There are fears that the overall quality and appeal of playing in England could be damaged, with clubs at a disadvantage to acquire the best talent from Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga among others with them now needing to comply to homegrown quotas.
One source told the Mail: “They have to be very careful they don’t just destroy what the Premier League is. Everybody wants to see homegrown players in the team but they also want to see the top players playing here.”