Thursday, February 9, 2023

Report: FA propose foreign player restrictions as Brexit looms

The Times (£) report this morning that the FA are to propose new rules with regards to foreign players as Britain’s departure from the European draws ever closer.

At the moment, players from all 27 member states have the right to live and work in the UK – but with just a few months to go and no agreement in place between Theresa May’s government and the European Union the impact on football has barely been considered.

Obviously other issues dominate the headlines; such as the supply of food, medicine, hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be affected, air travel, motorways being turned into parking lots for trucks, the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in other EU countries, and lots more, but the Premier League is filled with talent from abroad and if a ‘no deal’ scenario comes to pass it could have a profound effect on the so-called ‘best league in the world’.

The report suggests that a restriction would be placed on foreign players with each club restricted to just 12 as opposed to 17 right now, with the rest of the squad made up of ‘home grown’ players. The report then states:

In return for an agreement to boost the number of homegrown players in first-team squads, it is understood that the FA would agree to give a “governing body endorsement” (GBE) for a work permit for every foreign player who gets a contract with a Premier League club.

They also quote a government spokesperson who says, “We recognise the need for sports, including football, to continue to access talent from the EU and globally and are in discussions with sports bodies about this.”

However, anyone who has seen the news of late would hardly be reassured by anything that particular administration says in relation to Brexit, as internal power struggles in the Tory party complicate an already difficult situation and a weak opposition compound what is going to be a monumental change for Britain.

Football is like any other industry, subject to the rules and regulations, and it’s been strange that there’s been so little focus on how Brexit might impact the game in general and the clubs we support where foreign players are fan favourites week in, week out.

Arsenal’s homegrown contingent

Rob Holding
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Hector Bellerin* – due to length of time in England
Carl Jenkinson
Alex Iwobi
Aaron Ramsey
Danny Welbeck
Eddie Nketiah
Emile Smith Rowe
Calum Chambers

Arsenal’s foreign contingent

Bernd Leno
Petr Cech
Stephan Lichtsteiner
Shkodran Mustafi
Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Laurent Koscielny
Dinos Mavropanos
Nacho Monreal
Sead Kolasinac
Granit Xhaka
Lucas Torreira
Matteo Guendouzi
Mohamed Elneny
Mesut Ozil
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Alexandre Lacazette
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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A huge strength of the league is the overseas players.

And fans from France, Germany etc can come over to the UK easily to watch matches. Fans having to apply for visas and then going through lots of border checks isn’t going to boost clubs’ fans.

Hope they get to sort it out one way or the other.


While every country and league is taking strides to move forward, we’re going backwards. If this materializes it would be a disaster.

David C

agreed! I just want to see the best players possible playing for Arsenal. Guys like Wilshere get to hang around too long and get too much money because they’re a homegrown player….

Best against the best! Just like when Daniel Larusso single-handedly defeated the Cobra Kai at the under-18 All-Valley Karate Championships of 1984.

all bernd out

In my humble opinion the government should have the balls to call off this brexit bullshit entirely as it’s far more trouble than it’s worth. We are already on an island for fuck’s sake. Why the hell is our future dictated by the clueless majority and lowest common denominators in society.




Just because you have a different opinion doesn’t make you better!! Comments like this is why the clueless majority voted Brexit!!


They voted for brexit out of petty spite without any consideration for practicalities? Sounds very foolish, but marginally better than the bigotry and xenophobia i had assumed were behind it.


The FA electing to implement these unnecessary and unhelpful rules is an example of acting like utter fools, but then that is of a piece with all the actors in this abjectly stupid scenario: the politicians who set up the referendum, the pro-brexit voters, and the current elected officials who don’t have the courage or integrity to say “this is a moronic idea and since our job is to do what’s best for the country, we won’t go through with it.”


I’d like to see more British players in the league especially with the talent in the younger England squads. It could level the playing field and encourage more home grown talent. Besides I could easily drop 4 of our 16 foreign players to fit the FA quota 😉

La Defense

Good thing you’re not the head coach then.

Ya gooner

What would sort out our homegrown talent is investment in grass roots


Yeah that’s true but it would also help if clubs gave chances to our homegrown talent rather than hoarding them and loaning them out like city and chelsea do


Hoarding and loaning is one thing. Forcing teams to field a lower standard of players is another altogether. All that will do is reduce the quality of the league and allow more players to earn far over-inflated wages just because they’re homegrown. If they can’t compete now it’s not because of foreign players, it’s because they’re not good enough. Not enough of them make the grade in the lower leagues or go at a younger age over to smaller European leagues to prove themselves. If this comes to pass you can kiss the idea of Prem teams ever lifting the… Read more »


this would be good for english players but on the whole and on long run it would be bad for everyone involved. because premier league is the best league in the world because it is very competitive. some if the best players are playing in the league at the moment which all makes it the best league to watch. also makes it the most attractive destination for the best players in the upcoming genenration. how many players have you heard saying they wanted to come here because this is the best league in the world. if you put on quota… Read more »


I don’t necessarily agree that’s it will reduce the competitiveness of the league. 12 foreign players still make up half the squad, it’s not like the FA want a complete blanket ban on overseas talent. The best foreign players would obviously not get dropped by their clubs, rather it would be the foreign fringe players who would most likely be allowed to leave.


There are 17 and you will need to drop 5. A global Arsenal survives beyond the near term future, a Brexit constrained Arsenal cannot and will not survive.


Taking out 5 overseas players and replacing with homegrown ones seems too much to me. If there was an obvious supply of homegrown players that would compete for places it would make more sense. But 20 teams in the PL finding 5 players is 100 players. Where will they come from?

Moving the number by 2 players (20×2 = 40 needed) would be a better start imo.

Matty Cakes

Yeah but blue passports though

Faisal Narrage


Mick Howard

And unicorns. Don’t forget the unicorns.


Maybe we could place a border around the Emirates ?

Another Kolkata Gooner

Wall may be?


We could use our membership cards as passports!

David Hillier's luggage

It amazes me this wasn’t highlighted during the referendum campaign – I’m willing to wager a chunk of voters would have voted remain if posters stated facts: “Vote leave for a Premier League filled with the next Ryan Shawcrosses & Peter Crouches. And that £350m a week we’ll have for the NHS? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen, we made that up and don’t give a damn that we’re breaking electoral law.”


I saw an advertisement in a paper shortly before the referendum by the EPL with all the club badges basically saying vote remain or you could affect the quality of the league. So there was some action but it seemed last ditch and I didn’t hear/see anything through other comms channels.

Godfrey Twatsloch

I saw that wanker Farage mock the idea of brexit affecting English football. The prick!


Well, there’s this, so that may not have had the effect you’d hope for:


And Aaron Ramsey???


Sell in January.

Declan M


La Defense

Ramsey to Everton!

Red Fred

this would make letting Rambo go on a free even more ridiculous.

La Defense

Nope. Ramsey is less talented than Wilshere, just less injury prone.


Aaron Ramsey?

La Defense

Gone in January. Deadwood must be cleared. Especially Deadwood that thinks they’re worth Ozil money. The revolution continues. Time’s finally up for teacher’s pet.


Well,according to every outlet Ramsey did agree a contract (although most fans somehow “forget” that part and dish him out for not signing (???) and it was supposedly around the 200k a week mark.about 150k less than Ozil’s.So many things wrong with your argument..guy won us two FA cups and been here for nearly 10 years and highest scoring midfielder here.It’s fine if you don’t like /rate him but such hate is just weird.


Exactly! The hate for Ramsey on here has gone from irritating to actually boring. Just let it go dude ffs!


Look, I like Ramsey and all the good things he’s done for the club. However if he did agree a contract, then he took a damn long time about it and certainly, nothing has been signed because if it had, I doubt the offer could have been withdrawn.

Da Boss

Honestly, how do you know how long it took? Also, if indeed it did take a long time, was it him that dragged it out or his agent? Just leave the bloke alone. He’s not come out and made a fuss about it all, he has got his head down and got on with it without criticising the club or anyone in the club. He has to have some respect for that given that it was actually Arsenal who withdrew the offer he was signing. Let it go now guys. Enough is enough.


I would really love to know what you’ve been saying about Ramsey when he/we won the FA cups.


you forgot to add MAGA! at the end.


Bring on restrictions galore… just for the sake of seeing City and Chelsea owners get f****d!


a silver lining certainly, but I think our ownership would also be pretty fucked.


The price of homegrown players will rise. We’ll have to pay more to get a Ramsey, Welbeck etc. And City and Chelsea will pay more than us…


Arsenal have been in the business of developing players for decades. If City & Chelsea can’t buy 4 world class players from abroad for every position for crazy money, they will be forced to develop players. Arsenal have more know-how than any other PL club (bar Man Utd perhaps) in this area.


Forced to develop?? LOL. They will just buy. as always before.


I suspect that within chelsea’s 4 swuads worth of loanees they have enough uk players to make a go if things.


Has anybody looked into Southampton quietly engineering Brexit? They’re in with a shout to rocket to the top of the league.

the mickster

i think you’ll find a ‘smaller talent pool’ means the wealthier clubs would be become more, not less dominant.


…Exactly mickster


They’d be less fucked than every other club, unfortunately, because they’d simply use their dirty money to buy up the more limited pool of top homegrown talent.

As with everything else, if you have enough money you’re shielded from the damage everyone else has to endure.

John Lukic's gangly beanpole legs

Like Bayern do.


Where is your favorite player blog?


I’d like to see this actually happen.


Has Kos left, no mention of him………


It looks like the FA see Brexit as an opportunity to place even more artificial restrictions on what is supposed to be a competitive sport.

I’m deeply unimpressed.


Kos gone ??????

Ya gooner

What about foreign managers cohld they get booted out the country too?

Evang. Simon

We are watching from Africa

Dr. No

Well, I don’t see Koscielny, Martinez or Ramsey on the list, but the latter would hardly add to the foreign contingent… The first question is whether when will the new rules come to effect. It should take a year or two if the FA would like to make it civilized. By that time Cech, Lichtsteiner, and Koscielny will surely be out of the squad and there is a good chance that Monreal and Sokratis will also consider stop playing on the highest competitive level. And in this scenario we didn’t sell nor fire anybody. So the limit of foreign players… Read more »


This kind of thing should be a sporting decision, not one imposed by regressive politics. The value of homegrown players is already artificially high and doesn’t equate to to how good the player is – this will make the balance even worse. If only more young homegrown players weren’t raised to be afraid of other cultures and languages, they’d travel and improve by learning the game in other leagues and wouldn’t need artificial restrictions to prop up their development and transfer value. Sad to see ‘the most entertaining league in the world’ heading the way of the Russian Premier League… Read more »


Spot on, mate!


How would these new rules effect the ability of the academy to sign foreign youth players as was the case when we signed Bellerin, Martinez, Fabregas etc?

the only sam is nelson

big clubs will strengthen their hold on the EU based feeder clubs and transfer promising youth (which will likely be excluded under all but the most exceptional circumstances) to those clubs to see how they develop. City already have a number of such football clubs around the globe and others will follow suit.

A Different George

Right–Bellerin is counted as “homegrown” because nationality (of players from EU members) cannot be considered because of EU rules. After Brexit, there would be no legal barrier to requiring “homegrown” to mean only British players.


the home grown talent don’t look to bad, English football is on the up and up, we wont need any foreigners at arsenal, and it will be great for the country aswell

Godfrey Twatsloch

Come on Blogs, do we really need this dose of AIDS posting here?

Godfrey Twatsloch

Get fucked!


Well,good thing we have a strong generation of English talents coming through..Glass half full etc.


The premier league is a global brand now. The North London derby means something to kids in Nairobi Kenya…I am all for restrictions that grow the strength of the local talent pool but not if it affects the league’s main stregths: competitiveness and diversity. I have never understood why England’s football team has not been successful, it surely has nothing to do with lack of investment…there is clearly a lot of that. It amazes me that countries with less developed footballing structures continue to outperform England at the international stage. Perhaps the problem is not a lack of emphasis on… Read more »


I love this man. Very well said.


There’s an assumption that giving homegrown players more playing time in the premier league will improve the national team but there’s no basis for this in reality. How many French and Belgium players play in their own country’s league? How many Brazilians and Portuguese? Spain may be an exception but even they aren’t what they used to be, it simply wasn’t sustainable.

Monkey Nuts

The FA have this.misguided belief more Shit British players playing in the league will help the national team. No it won’t. If you are shit you are shit.


I voted remain. However, I’d be happy for this rule to come into effect and give more playing time to young English players. I’ve always felt this way, even before all this brexit nonsense was even a thing. Seems like an unpopular view on here, which I have to admit I find strange. It’s not because of nationalism or far right bollocks. It’s because I like the idea that people who went to school near me, or grew up nearby have what it takes to play for arsenal. Surely everyone can relate to that?


I think the problem is like you mentioned, people thinking it’s nationalistic or xenophobic to want to have more British players at the club. I’m too young to remember the teams before the 01/02 season but watching the Wrighty documentary and seeing how the teams were made up of local players made me feel like I’ve missed out on something

Le Jim

So basically, yer da set English football back thirty years because the sight of kebab shops was making him feel economically anxious?


kebabs shop??? i dont know any polish or any eastern european who own a kebab shop

Bai Blagoi

I don’t quite understand what would be the impact for players that are already long time in England. You mention Bellerin with an asterisk, due to his “length of time in England”, but he has been in London “only” for 7 years. I do not think that if there is a different treatment for (let’s call them) long-term residents, it will be influenced by the age of the player. In other words, the political treatment of residents would not overlay with the FA definition of “home grown”. If we look at people that are living and working in England for… Read more »


Clubs would adapt but the premier league on the whole would be weaker whilst British players were developed


But if the Arsenal joins the European Super league, this would be Tottenham’s problem, would it 😀
Anyway the PL would probably suffer from having less players from abroad and being limited with local talent. I mean, when you have to put in a British lad even as a reserve, could impair the play, would it?

Jokes aside, it would make the road from U23 to main squad a bit easier.


The only team in the premier this won’t impact are burnley.

Jean Ralphio

The FA and brexiters don’t like the idea of competition. More blame-the-foreigners mentality. Do they not realise that under the current system, English players can play overseas.

Yankee Gooner

Might as well go the whole way and only be able sign players from the town the club is located in. I’m tired of all the Longsight boys keeping the lads from Harlow out of the side.

Godfrey Twatsloch

You jest but a few posts up people are seriously suggesting this.

Yankee Gooner

I had them in mind 😉

Godfrey Twatsloch

Well played!

Ordnance Dave

Brexit is going to hurt the England team, but not in the way people think. It’s going to make it even more difficult for Englishmen to play in European leagues. English players (and the English in general) need to travel and live abroad more, not the other way round.


Excellent timing of Wengers exit…he probably could see all this coming ….

the no-VAR, mob-money, hooligan-infested Premier League is finally at home.

foreign players and fans will face restrictions and gradually the quality and crowds will erode.

Godfrey Twatsloch

The FA is just another example of an English institution displaying how ungrateful it is to the people from other countries who helped make their league one of the best in the world.

These Brexit days are sad days.


This is just more project fear nonsense. We had the same with visas for European holidays after Brexit, until the commission got it in the ear from tourism industry who were being hit hard. We also got it about flights, until the EU realised they needed our airspace more than we needed theirs, and that we had treaties that predate EU treaties. The scare stories about goods “entering” this country, are just nonsense, when we leave we will be the ones who decide our own customs policy. We’re leaving a political project, we’re not leaving Europe, because unless our island… Read more »

Mick Howard

Fucking xenophobic bullashit. Theyt need us more than we need them. Project fear Nasty Johnny Foreigner. Take back control of “are” country. Yada yada yada. Just fuck off, already

Tony Adams Nose

I have mixed feelings on this. I don’t live in the UK anymore but visit often. Almost everyone I have asked are pro Brexit for one reason or another oh, and none have been racially motivated much more economic and being in charge of our own destiny, not having Brussels decide. That said, having twelve foreign players is one more than a team so I don’t see a big change other than to the hoarder clubs. Because they have so much more spending power they will have the biggest change to make by not purchasing players to prevent other clubs… Read more »


This is bad news for the PL and good news for other leagues. It also means we will likely be dependent on the Academy to find and produce players early. As far as what we have now, we have some interesting prospects. The likes of Jenkinson is not good enough for Arsenal but the young crop in Nketiah, Smith-Rowe, AMN. Nelson not to mention Iwobi, Bellerin before plus British players Holding possibly Chambers will all be good contention. Welbeck I feel may also have some utility for the squad. It may also certainly inflate prices on younger players overall in… Read more »

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