The Football Association has confirmed that Premier League and EFL clubs will not be able to sign foreign players until they are 18 under new regulations that will be introduced upon completion of the Brexit transition period, with all new signings from European Union nations requiring a work permit that will be allocated on a points-based system.
The new regulations, which have been approved by the Premier League and English Football League, will also see Premier League clubs limited to signing no more than three players under the age of 21 in any single transfer window, meaning no more than six per season, in an effort to help produce homegrown talent in the professional leagues.
A joint-statement issued by the FA, Premier League and EFL confirmed that the regulations have been approved by the Home Office, and that they will come into effect from 1 January in time for the next transfer window, with Fifa’s current rules meaning that the end to free movement from the EU to the United Kingdom means that signing players under the age of 18 can no longer be permitted.
The statement read: “Post Brexit, clubs will not be able to sign players freely from the EU. Players from EU countries who want to play in the Premier League or EFL will be required to gain a GBE, like all other overseas players without the right to work in the UK.
“In the Premier League, the number of overseas U21 players a club can sign will be limited to three in the January transfer window and six per season moving forwards. This enables the recruitment of the best players from around the world to train and play together with homegrown talent.
“Under Fifa’s rules, the UK’s exit from the EU will also mean that clubs will not be able to sign players from overseas until they are 18.”