Football: English FA to cut foreign players in Premier League as Brexit looms, says report

The English Football Association has proposed to reduce the number of overseas players in Premier League squads, said The Times newspaper.
The English Football Association has proposed to reduce the number of overseas players in Premier League squads, said The Times newspaper.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - In a bid to deal with Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) in March 2019 and to boost the number of home-grown players, the English Football Association (FA) is planning to reduce the number of overseas players in Premier League squads to 12 from 17, The Times newspaper reported on Tuesday (Nov 13).

The proposal, to be put to the clubs this week, would mean significant changes to a number of sides. Thirteen clubs have more than 12 overseas players in their first-team squads this season, with only a third of all registered players eligible to represent England.

The FA did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

The FA would in return agree to give a governing body endorsement, usually issued for a non-EU/European Economic Area elite player to help the development of football in England, for a work permit for every foreign player who gets a contract with a Premier League club, the report said.

If the clubs fail to reach agreement with the FA on Brexit, they could face a "no-deal" scenario where all EU players would have to fulfil the same criteria that non-EU players do now to get a work permit, the report added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday that there were still considerable unresolved issues over Brexit as the two sides approached the "endgame" in negotiations for departure from the bloc.