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FA chairman Greg Dyke outlines new rules on limiting amount of non-EU players in English football

FA Chairman Greg Dyke has announced changes in work permit rules to restrict the number of non EU players to try and increase the number of English players at top clubs.

The new rules, which have been accepted by the Home Office, will be start to be introduced next season with the overall plans to change the development of young players being completely implemented by 2020.

Dyke said: “The Premier League clubs, who invest millions of pounds through their academies and the Elite Player Performance Programme (EPPP), are doing a fantastic job at developing young talent. But many of the home grown players being developed at these academies are not breaking through to play regular first team football."

“The Premier League has already recognised the problem and introduced home grown player quotas. But since those rules were introduced in 2010, the average number of home grown players in a Premier League squad has stayed largely the same and has actually decreased significantly at the 12 clubs who have been ever present in the League during that period.”

The new rules include:

  • A change in the definition of home grown player to any player, irrespective of their nationality, who has been registered with any club affiliated to The FA or Football Association of Wales (FAW) for a period of three years prior to the player’s 18th birthday (currently the definition states a home grown player has to be registered with The FA or FAW for three years before their 21st birthday).
  • A reduction in the maximum number of non-home grown players permitted in a club’s first team squad of 25 from 17 to 13, phased over four years from 2016. This would have the effect of ensuring that in a squad of 25, 12 players would have to be home grown.
  • The introduction of a requirement that at least two home grown players are also club trained players (a club trained player is defined as any player, irrespective of nationality, that has been registered for three years at their current club prior to their 18th birthday).
  • Dyke added: “In 2014, just 23 English players were playing Champions League football. That compares with 78 Spanish players, 55 from Germany and even 51 from Brazil – and the numbers will only get worse. If we want to maintain a national side capable of competing against the world’s best, we need change."

    “As the body responsible for all of English football, it’s The FA’s duty to create as many opportunities as possible for young home grown talent to compete at the highest level."

    “This is not simply because it will increase the pool of quality players available to the England manager, but because the development of genuine, local talent is fundamental to the sustainability of our clubs and the health of our national game." 

    “These proposals will ensure that the letter of the law around home grown players matches the spirit in which they were first conceived. We want the whole of the English game to support these proposals.”

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