The FA has confirmed that Premier League and EFL clubs are not allowed to sign foreign players under the age of 18 and that three players under the age of 21 who are from abroad are not allowed to participate in transfer windows to encourage more local talent.
Indeed, Liverpool will not be able to sign some of Europe’s best talent under 18 when the new brexite rules come into force.
If the UK leaves the European Union, it will have an impact on football and Liverpool will have to adapt.
In recent seasons the Reds have signed up overseas talent under 18, including players such as Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever, who has now been sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £9 million, and members of the U23 squad such as Yasser Larouci, who came from Le Havre in 2017.
The new regulations will come into force on January 1, 2021, a regulation approved by the British Home Office and linked to the current FIFA rules, i.e. if the freedom of movement ends when Britain leaves the European Union, then the possibility of signing young talent will also be available.
“In the Premier League, the number of foreign under-21 players that a club can sign is limited to three players in the transfer window in January and six per season in promotion. This allows the recruitment of the best players from around the world to train and play together with local talent.
In the Premier League, it is common practice to sign top young talent from Europe, with Arsenal’s past record of signing players like Cesc Fabregas, while Manchester United has signed players like Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique. This is something that will soon come to an end.
In a joint statement by the FA, Premier League and EFL, it says: “After Brexit, clubs will not be able to sign EU players freely. Players from EU countries who want to play in the Premier League or EFL will have to obtain a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) like all other players from overseas who do not have the right to work in the UK.
Such a blockade in the signing of talent could prove problematic for some clubs, although the drive for more local players cannot be seen as a bad sign.
“Under Fifa rules, Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will also mean that clubs will not be able to sign players from overseas until they are 18 years old.
But regulations that will come into effect after Brexit could mean that the Fenway Sports Group’s plan to allow RedBall Acquisitions to buy part of the company and take FSG public may be more important than ever.
One of the key drivers between the potential deal between FSG and Gerry Cardinale and Billy Beane’s RedBall is the creation of a portfolio of football clubs, similar to the way Red Bull works with RB Leipzing, Red Bull Salzburg and FC Liefering.
Cardinale already owns the French Ligue 2 team Toulouse through its company Redbird Capital, while Beane holds small shares in the championship team Barnsley and the Dutch Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar.
A player under the age of 18 could be signed by another Liverpool club under the FSG umbrella in another country, where the player will receive his football training until he can transfer to Anfield or another affiliated club.
The creation of a network of clubs in which Liverpool would be at the top would allow the Reds to circumvent such a regulation.
If the Reds want to be able to attract some of the brightest young talent and not lose out to their European rivals, who do not need to worry about such rules, then this might be their only way to do so.
Manchester City already has this opportunity to rely on when these new rules come into force, while City owners City Football Group owes a number of clubs around the world, while the owners of Leicester City, King Power, also have the opportunity to do something similar through their stake in Belgian club OH Leuven.