The Brexit Balls-up, Boyata and the overseas Bhoys

REUTERS are reporting this morning that the English FA is planning to reduce the number of overseas players in Premier League squads to satisfy post Brexit conditions in the UK.

The governing body is being pro-active after surveying the likely political landscape in England that is likely to exist when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

They are presenting options to their clubs this week and are proposing that the number of overseas players in each squad is reduced from the current figure of 17 to 12. And apparently 13 Premiership clubs have more than a dozen overseas players on their books at the moment, so this will be a real concern for them.

If this reduction is accepted the FA would give a governing body endorsement, usually issued for a non-EU/European Economic Area elite player to help the development of football in England, for a work permit for every foreign player who gets a contract with a Premier League club.

If the clubs fail to reach agreement with the FA on Brexit, they could face a “no-deal” scenario where all EU players would have to fulfil the same criteria that non-EU players do now to get a work permit.

Brexit it seems is going to change the Premier League, maybe something that was not considered when the decision was being taken to leave the EU.

In Scotland, where there was a significant majority to remain in the EU, the SFA will need to look at its own arrangements with clubs to see if they are going to comply with the post Brexit rules.

Celtic currently have 17 ‘foreign’ players that includes Jonny Hayes who will remain an EU citizen post Brexit.

If the SFA followed similar guidelines to their English counter-parts Celtic would have to look at offloading some of these players and of course any quota imposed post Brexit would mean that the club’s recruitment strategy would have to change accordingly.

And for overseas players hoping to get a move to the riches of the Premier League, this is about to get much tougher. Even players like Dedryck Boyata, who is in the final year of his contract at Celtic, could find it tougher to get a move down south with the clubs having to look at their numbers of foreign players and the majority have to reduce their numbers rather than recruit.

Also on The Celtic Star today…

This result left the Rangers “downcast” – David Potter…See HERE.

McKenna, MacLean and Menga – 3 red card offenders missed by referees for fouls on Celtic stars…See HERE.

Jim Craig – Stanley Matthews, Matt Busby 0 Davie Elliot 6…See HERE.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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