The Football Association has revealed a new rule change that will affect player transfers in England. According to the change, Premier League clubs can essentially sign up to four foreign players that do not meet current visa guidelines. This rule will also be the same for second-tiered Championship teams.

English clubs adding players without work permit

The move is a major deal for English clubs looking to secure signatures for foreign players. Traditionally, Premier League sides had to wait for appropriate work permits on overseas talent before making official signings. However, some transfers can now do not need this paperwork.

For instance, soccer fans are sometimes told by news outlets that transfers have been agreed between two clubs, but are “subject to a work permit.” This will not now be the case in many instances.

Nevertheless, the deal was contingent on a compromise by these English clubs. Teams must improve paths for young English players to senior sides. If these levels of English players are not maintained, international transfers could be reduced. This means that certain Premier League/Championship clubs would then only be able to sign two or three foreign prospects.

FA says move will bring ‘exceptional international talent’ to England

“As English football’s governing body, we oversee the whole football ecosystem, and we wanted to create a new model which would meet the different objectives of our football stakeholders,” stated FA chief executive Mark Bullingham in an official statement.

“We worked closely with the clubs and the leagues, and have designed a progressive solution which will give clubs additional access to international talent and incentivize playing opportunities for English talent.”

The FA claimed that the move “provides additional access to exceptional international talent which falls outside the current GBE criteria.” Generally speaking, established foreign players usually find it easier to obtain a work permit with English clubs. However, the rule change will more specifically help younger or lesser-known talent earn English transfers.

Premier League and English Football League (EFL) execs essentially had to agree to the new system before government officials intervened. English clubs in League One and League Two can partake in the newly updated ruling. These EFL teams can now sign up to two overseas players without traditional work permits.

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