Premier League would be a poorer place with fewer overseas players, says Masters

February 10 – The new boss of the English Premier League has warned against cutting the number of overseas players as discussions begin to build over how Brexit will affect English professional football.

Clubs are currently permitted to have 17 non-homegrown players in their 25-man squads but the English Football Association wants this reduced to 13 while raising homegrown players from its existing level of eight to 12.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters believes that a reduction in overseas quotas could damage the competitiveness of English clubs in Europe.

“If you did have a quota system that was vastly different from Europe, you would put our top clubs at a big disadvantage,” he said. “I think the average number of foreign players that the most likely winners of the Champions League have is 16. So, if our clubs were lower than that, it would be a disadvantage to them.”

Clubs in England have one more transfer window to sign players under existing rules before the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

“In a perfect world this will be resolved prior to the summer transfer window and that would allow clubs the certainty of knowing what the immigration system coming in the January transfer window would be,” said Masters.

“That would be the perfect world, but if it takes longer than that so be it. It is right we get it right and also probably acknowledge the system doesn’t have to be inflexible for 10 years and it is something that can evolve.”

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