English Premiership

Foreign quota in Premier League unlikely to be reduced

2020-02-10 08:04
Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Premier League chief executive Richard Masters doubts the quota on overseas players will be reduced as it would be a disadvantage to English clubs in the Champions League.

Discussions are continuing between the league and the Football Association over the composition of playing squads following Great Britain's exit from the European Union.

The FA favours a relaxing of the restrictions that currently exist around non-EU players provided that no club exceeds 13 overseas players in a 25-man squad.

Currently, clubs are allowed 17 players from overseas in their squad, and the Premier League are understood to be keen to retain that figure, with their guiding principle being that the league should feature the best English talent playing with the best the world has to offer.

Masters said: "It remains to be seen what the solution is - we're not close to anything.

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

"The view of the Premier League and the clubs is that the system is working. It is delivering a good cohort of talented young England players.

"I don't blame the FA for wanting to have clarity and wanting to ensure that the situation continues to move forward.

"We're in agreement on that. We just don't want to take any risks with the current system. We don't want to take any risks with the Premier League because it is phenomenally successful."

As of February 7, the average number of England-qualified players (EQPs) in starting line-ups across the 2019/20 season in the Premier League was 34.8%, dropping to 27.2% for the 'big six' clubs.

That is up from an all-time low figure of 30 per cent last season, but the increase is largely attributable to an increase of over 20 per cent at Chelsea, who had been subject to a transfer ban in last summer's window, while promoted clubs Sheffield United and Aston Villa have both averaged over 40 per cent.

England manager Gareth Southgate, commenting on the 2018/19 figures in May last year, said: "The first thing we've got to do is arrest the slide. We have to stop that graph slipping.

"Because it isn't correct to say we're not developing good players. I think that's really important."

The FA believes that increasing access to signing overseas players but preventing an increase in the number would be to the benefit of English football.

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

Masters said: "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.

"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."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 22 February 2020
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Bramall Lane 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Watford, Old Trafford 16:00
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 18:30
Monday, 24 February 2020
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.