FA plan to reduce number of non-EU players

The Football Association has drawn up plans to cut the number of non-EU players currently in English football by up to 50%, the BBC has reported.

The FA’s English commission had called for a major reform earlier in the year upon their belief that clubs around the country were bringing in too many “mediocre” players.

The proposed rule changes have been sent around the country to the Premier and Football League, along with respective player and manager unions, with the hope that the changes will be in place for the 2015-16 season.

The FA’s of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are also in discussions with their English colleagues.

Until the end of last season, 122 non-EU players arrived in English football since 2009 after the 2008 current rules, the Governing Body Endorsement, were introduced to allow sport governing bodies to manage the visa applications of elite players from non-EU countries.

However the commission believes the number of foreign players within the leagues are blocking the pathway for talented young English players, with the FA bidding to improve the pool of talent available to the national side as they target the country winning the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Speaking back in May FA Chairman Greg Dyke revealed some worrying statistics: “122 non-EU players have entered England under the GBE scheme since 2009.

“Nearly 50% didn’t meet the current criteria and came through an appeal process in which 79% of appellants have been successful.

“Remarkably, only 58% given work visas to play in the Premier League play any football in that league in the second season after their arrival.”

The FA hope that the new plans will force a constraint on clubs, who will then only consider valuable targets from outside the EU.

The proposed reforms can be found on the BBC Sport website.

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