Brexit divides English football: Premier League rejects FA’s player quota plan

EPL says there is no evidence stronger quotas will improve the England team

Premier League
(Image credit: Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

The Premier League has rejected the Football Association’s Brexit plans to introduce homegrown player quotas when the UK leaves the European Union.

Last week it was reported that the FA was determined to use Britain’s exit from the EU as an opportunity to reduce the number of overseas players in top-flight squads.

Under existing rules, Premier League clubs are allowed to field up to 17 overseas players in their 25-man squads, but the Daily Mirror reported this week that the FA has proposed plans to cut that number to 13.

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According to a recent report in The Times, Premier League clubs “will be obliged to ensure that at least half of their first-team squads are made up of ‘homegrown’ players under drastic plans put forward by the FA to deal with Brexit”.

Positive impact on national teams

The FA believes that another argument for player quotas is that it will improve the UK national teams. However, the Premier League disagrees with this notion and says there is “no evidence” that stricter homegrown quotas would have a positive impact on national teams.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “We currently operate rules that limit the number of non-homegrown players clubs can have in senior squads, while also working with clubs to operate a world-leading player development system which delivers for England teams at every level.

“This was demonstrated by the many Premier League club academy and senior players whom FA coaches moulded so well into Under-17 and Under-20 Fifa World Cup winners and men’s Fifa 2018 World Cup semi-finalists.

“There is no evidence that stronger quotas than exist now would have a positive impact on national teams.

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“We approach this matter in the interests of British football as a whole and have held positive discussions with the EFL and the Scottish Professional Football League, who both agree that Brexit should not be used to weaken playing squads in British football, nor to harm clubs’ ability to sign international players.

“The three league bodies also recognise that the development pathway for young British players needs to be further enhanced and are committed to finding ways of achieving this across all professional clubs.

“Away from playing squads, it is important to recognise the global interest in the Premier League and in our clubs when they compete in the FA and Carabao Cup competitions, and the wider positive impact on the UK of having a successful Premier League.

“Our competition is watched in 189 countries, 700,000 visitors to the UK per season attend a match, clubs employ 12,000 full-time staff and Premier League football generates £3.3bn per season in taxes.”

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