FA urge PL clubs to accept new vision that will ‘block lower-quality foreign players’ signing in January transfer window

FA CHAIRMAN Greg Clarke has urged Premier League teams to accept a proposal that would prevent 'lower quality foreign players' joining in January.

With the transition period following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union set to end as we move into 2021, clubs have until the end of this month to agree on new restrictions with the FA.

The two parties, however, have so far failed to reach an agreement.

In documents seen by Sky Sports, Clarke wrote to PL clubs: "Whatever we do it's inevitable that your access to European talent will be reduced from the current free access.

"However we want to increase the access you have to non-European talent so that the Premier League can maintain its position as the leading league in the world.

"We want to do this in such a way that protects the remainder of the pyramid and our national teams.

"Government requirements are that players coming to play here should be internationally established at the highest level; making a significant contribution to football; and not taking the place of already settled talent.

"All of these need to be reflected in the new system.

"As with every other sector in the UK, Brexit means it will be more difficult to recruit internationally.

"The Government has been clear that they expect all sectors to follow these principles and football will not be afforded an exemption."

Following two years of talks, the FA believe that they have found a 'modern, progressive points-based system which will replace the blunt international appearances model currently in use for non-EEA players'.

Clarke continued: "The system has been designed to give clubs greater access than ever before to the global market.

"The Premier League has the highest market share of all the top European nations' players playing outside their home league; but a much lower share for South American and African nations' players due to the historical system.

"The new system gives a 500 per cent uplift on guaranteed access to non-European talent, whilst also allowing the European talent in.

"However, the system doesn't allow access to lower quality foreign players who block the development pathway for home-grown players – and who rarely get to play.

"Please be assured you still have access to talented young players; they have not been excluded."

Clarke, 62, believes that the Premier League's current proposal could lead to the number of homegrown players at each club dropping further still in years to come.

He added: "This would be closing the floodgates after the flood.

For example, in the proposal a single youth international appearance would give the same points as Mo Salah receives for his entire Egypt career

"They have asked that any player registered with a team receives points for that club's performance (League position, League band and Continental progression) even if they have not played a game; the Home Office is quite clear that a player must play to get points so this will simply not be possible.

"They have also requested we include substantial points scored for youth internationals; but the Home Office is not supportive of the current proposal as these players are not internationally established at the highest level.

"For example, in the proposal a single youth international appearance would give the same points as Mo Salah receives for his entire Egypt career. That will not be accepted by Government.

"And finally, the League wants a lower point score to allow entry. This latter point is an area that we can discuss if the League is prepared to propose league rule changes to safeguard national talent.

"Overall the changes that are requested to our model relate predominantly to young, unproven players and would have virtually no impact on first team signings.

"We appreciate that there could be cost savings for clubs in being able to sign players before they are established, if they then develop to valuable assets, but we believe that providing the additional access requested would have a detrimental effect on the development of home-grown players.

"We simply can't agree to changes that could, if unchecked, destroy the pipeline of talent for the England teams. We want to maintain our relationship with you and urge you to consider changes to your League rules to provide these checks and balances."

Clarke then warned that, if no agreement was reached by October 31, that he would press ahead with the FA's current proposal.

He finished: "If we are unable to agree any new changes, we will submit our current system to the Home Office for implementation in the January transfer window.

"The Government have given us an extension to the end of October to submit the model."

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