Football’s Brexit War: Premier League fume at FA’s ‘radical’ plans to increase homegrown quota in squads as fears grow that quality of teams will be harmed once UK has left the EU
- The FA are planning on introducing a new British quota for Premier League clubs
- The measure is likely to be set post-Brexit to promote homegrown players
- They want to reduce non-homegrown players from current 17 to just 13
- The Premier League has slammed the move and they could take legal action
The Premier League have slammed the FA’s post-Brexit plans to increase homegrown player quotas as their war continues over football’s response to the UK leaving the European Union on Friday.
In documents seen by Sportsmail, the Premier League branded the FA’s plans ‘radical’ and ‘speculative’ and say they ‘do not meet shared objectives’.
The Premier League fear the FA could damage the competition’s status as the best league in the world and have reiterated that legal action is an option. They also fear that if the FA have their way, English clubs will struggle to be competitive in Europe.
The Premier League has slammed the FA’s post-Brexit plans to increase the homegrown quota
The FA sees Brexit as a chance to increase the number of English players in the Premier League and have set out plans in a 33-page report entitled ‘Access to Talent Discussion Deck’.
In the document, the FA pull few punches, claiming the current system means that the England squad is ‘short of key players in key positions compared to most European nations’.
They want to reduce the maximum number of non-homegrown players permitted in 25-man squads from 17 to 13. The FA also wish to avoid ‘mediocre overseas players blocking opportunities for up and coming talent’, and ‘benches of young English talent not playing’.
The plan will see the quota for non-homegrown players reduced from 17 to 13 post-Brexit
Following Brexit, English clubs will no longer be able to sign players under the age of 18 from EU countries.
The FA, in a move one high-ranking official at a top club described as ‘incredibly damaging’, want to increase the number of home-grown English players per squad from the existing eight to 12.
But the Premier League say there is no evidence to suggest that its current rule is detrimental to England’s performance.
The Premier League say the implementation of the quota will reduce the quality of the league
They state that they believe the FA’s plans ‘will increase fees and wage inflation’, see ‘reduced competitiveness’ from English clubs in European competition and prevent EFL clubs from accessing Premier League talent on loan.
‘If the Premier League quality fails,’ they add, ‘the economic value will fall’.
Instead, the Premier League say the biggest issue is the lack of development of young English players between Under 18 and Under 21 age groups, pointing out that at 18, English players have played as many minutes as players in France, Germany and Spain, but by 21 they have accumulated 45 per cent fewer senior minutes.
A source at one Premier League club bemoaned the lack of a solution as Brexit fast approaches
They suggest introducing a ‘B’ team competition, which would replace the current Under 23 League and provide youngsters with exposure to playing against older, seasoned professionals.
A source at one Premier League club said: ‘The clock is ticking and we are no nearer a solution. This smacks of opportunism by the FA and is being viewed by some as a hardline stance. The next few weeks will be interesting. They are trying to throw their weight about.’
A fresh proposal is on the table — as revealed by Sportsmail at the weekend. FA technical director Les Reed has written to all top-flight clubs to offer a radical, credit-based option which would set the number of homegrown players at 12 but which would then reward those who have developed English talent with extra spaces for foreign players. Emphasis would be placed on English players making their debut by the age of 19.
FA chief Les Reed contacted every club and added there would be incentive-based bonuses
While Reed admits work needs to be done, the plan appears to reward those who use English youngsters by allowing them to bring in more overseas players to a maximum of 17 — the current number.
Sportsmail previously revealed that the Premier League would seek legal advice should the FA try to force the reduction of overseas players and in the report’s Next Steps section, the Premier League say they will ‘refresh legal advice’.
The Government wants to see a resolution to the dispute between the parties by April.
Post-Brexit Premier League clubs will not be allowed to sign EU-based players under 18
Talks are ongoing. The FA and Premier League are holding meetings with clubs and the FA will present at the next summit of Premier League clubs next month. Meetings with the Home Office and 10 Downing Street are also set to take place.
Publicly both sides — with new chief executives in Richard Masters (Premier League) and Mark Bullingham (FA) — are trying to play down the row. A Premier League spokesperson said: ‘We agree with the FA that no part of Brexit should damage the England team’s prospects or the success of the Premier League.
‘We have been discussing this issue with the FA and we will continue to work together to achieve an outcome which enhances the appeal of the Premier League, while ensuring the best homegrown talent continues to thrive and improve.’
An FA spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to work with the Premier League, EFL and a range of government departments during this consultation period.’