Premier League clubs to be BANNED from buying foreign stars if they set up new European Super League

Premier League’s Big Six will be BANNED from signing foreign stars if they agree to their participation in any new European Super League, warns the FA who insist ‘we will make sure our rule book is tightened up’

  • Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ came under huge backlash for Super League fiasco
  • Now the FA have warned against the Big Six from attempting to breakaway again
  • They will ban clubs from signing foreign players if they try to set up any new ESL
  • FA now have power over allowing European Union players into Premier League 

The FA will ban any breakaway clubs from signing foreign players as part of their new rules designed to prevent the Big Six Premier League clubs attempting to set up any new European Super League.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham says the governing body, which recommends to the Home Office whether work permits should be issued for any foreign player coming to England, insists that no club playing outside official leagues would be able to sign any foreign players.

The FA’s powers have already considerably increased post Brexit as they now have power over allowing European Union footballers and coaches into the Premier League. And Bullingham says the FA are prepared to stop the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba playing for Manchester United or Kevin De Bruyne and Ruben Dias playing for Manchester City if clubs try to break away again.

There are plans in place to stop the Premier League’s Big Six from signing foreign players if they attempted to set up a new European Super League

Asked about how the FA could prevent a repeat of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal ditching domestic football, Bullingham said: ‘We may tweak some aspects of the visa system to make sure that people only get visas for our competitions which we accredit. 

‘So, you can’t pull in talent from abroad to play in competitions that we don’t sanction. They couldn’t bring in foreign players to play in that [breakaway] competition.

‘[We will] make sure our rule book is tightened up. The Premier League are doing the same, the Premier League rules were voted through at the Premier League AGM. We’re working on a few tweaks.’

Bullingham says that British government is also likely to change competition law to ensure that football is a special case and exempt from certain anti-competitive practices that the Big Six planned to use to force the Premier League and FA to accede to their demands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to put a legislative bomb under the Super League and Bullingham said: ‘There’s [government] legislation. We were very clear early on that we were opposed to a European Super League and we were going to use our rulebook to stop it. 

Liverpool owner John W Henry came under heavy criticism for his role in the Super League plans

Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer was also heavily criticised for his part in the plans

Liverpool owner John W Henry (left) and Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer (right) were heavily involved in the botched Super League plans

‘The clubs were definitely going to take an anti-competitive legal position on that. You can legislate that certain actions are not anti-competitive. That’s what we wanted the Government to do, that’s what they committed to really quickly. We still want to follow through with some legislation in that way that would give our rulebook more power in that situation.’

And he has revealed that the FA are in talks with the Premier League to redress the balance of power, which many feel currently leaves the FA impotent when dealing with clubs. He indicated that the Premier League might give some authority back to the FA in a bid to head off an independent regulator, which many expect the Government’s fan-led review to recommend.

‘I think there are some areas where leagues should always be able to do their own thing and I think there are some areas where we should absolutely get sign off on what the rules are,’ said Bullingham. ‘We are having conversations with them [Premier League] which will feed into the review. There are some areas where I do think that balance needs to be tweaked but I don’t think it’s massively out of kilter either.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has warned the Big Six from trying to breakaway again

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has warned the Big Six from trying to breakaway again

‘I think you could absolutely get it [agreement] from the Premier League [without the need for legislation] and we were actually starting to have conversations with the Premier League before the review. There are quite a few areas where we overlap, and let’s look at whether we can simplify that.’

But he did concede that a new body is required for financial and ethical tests on fit and proper owners and to ensure fan representation.

‘We don’t agree with people bandying around an independent regulator, without really specifying what it is. If you’re talking about some new body that has some independence in it which looks after financial aspects of football, I think we’d be really keen to explore some areas of that. 

‘We absolutely think that body could potentially be more involved in the owners and directors test and… the protection of club heritage assets. We think there’s also some areas where fans can have more says, absolutely… but if you’re asking me if I think there should be a new body to sit above the existing bodies of football, no I don’t.’