Allardyce bemoans Brexit rules that will make it hard to sign players

Sam Allardyce bemoans new Brexit rules as the West Brom manager claims they have already scuppered deals for three players because of fears work permits would be denied

  • Sam Allardyce believes this will be the hardest window he’s ever worked in
  • The Baggies are 19th in the league table after 4-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday
  • Gunners are now 11th after third straight win and are three points from top six 
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored once in his last eight games for Arsenal

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has revealed new Brexit regulations have already harmed his transfer plans.

The Baggies have been forced to pull out of three deals after it became clear players would not qualify for a work permit.

Points will be awarded for senior and youth international appearances, club appearances and the pedigree of the selling club after the UK completed its split from the European Union on New Year’s Eve.

Sam Allardyce has revealed new Brexit regulations have scuppered three potential signings

Albion are second bottom of the Premier League after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Arsenal and Allardyce is finding his search for January reinforcements hampered by new red tape.

He said: ‘I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed. It’s a shame.

‘Due to the new regulations in terms of the permit they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think ‘can he qualify?’

‘That has made life a bit more difficult. It’s not so much the pandemic, it’s the change of rules because of the Brexit deal.

Allardyce will be desperate to add some quality to the Baggies in their fight against the drop

‘We will do what we can and finding a player in this pandemic is going to be the hardest window I have ever worked in.

‘No disrespect to my players here because they are all working as hard as they can but I do have to find better to lift the squad.

‘Whatever player comes in they have to be better than what we have and capable of going into the team almost immediately.’

Albion suffered another heavy home defeat on Saturday to the Gunners, coming after they were thumped 5-0 by Leeds.

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win at West Brom on Saturday

Alexandre Lacazette scored a second-half double after Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka gave the visitors a comfortable lead at the break.

The Gunners climbed to 11th after a third straight win and they are three points off the top six, having played a game more.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang drew a blank and has netted just once in his last eight games but boss Mikel Arteta is pleased his players are sharing the goals.

Gunners skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has struggled in front of goal this season

He said: ‘I keep saying, we can’t keep putting all the weight on Auba’s shoulders to score the goals. We need contributions.

‘The midfielders need to score more and give more assists, and we need goals from our wingers as well. Laca is in great form and has scored five goals in his last four games, which is what we need from our strikers.

‘Auba had some chances to score and it was the same in the last game or so, but I am so pleased because in the final third we looked lively and there was a lot of movement.’


From midnight on December 31, 2020 free movement to the UK for citizens within countries of the European Economic Area as well as Swiss nationals ended.

This is because the Brexit transition period came to an end and it will affect more than the colour of your passport, (which will be blue when you have to reapply for one if you are a UK citizen).

The change will also have a fundamental impact on the way in which football clubs can sign players from Europe and beyond.

New rules are now in force, which have been agreed between the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League and government, to manage the movement of players.

In the short term, this means that recruitment departments, already working flat out to identify targets now have to put all their options to their legal teams to find out if they are actually eligible. 

Anyone wanting to come to work in the UK under post-Brexit rules will have qualify as a ‘skilled worker’ and that is true for footballers and coaches, too. 

Unfortunately for football clubs, it’s not enough for the chief scout to think ‘the lad can do a job in the Premier League’ or ‘the boy will make an impact’ in the Championship.

New signings will require a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) from the FA, before they can apply for their visa to enter the country.

A similar system has been in place for players outside of the EU, who wanted to sign for UK clubs, but now it will apply to all non-UK footballers.

The buying club will apply for a GBE, which costs £500, and it will be awarded through a points-based system. A player must earn 15 points or more to qualify.

Points will be awarded for: 

  • Senior and youth international appearances
  • Quality of the selling club, based on the league they are in, league position and progression in continental competition
  • Club appearances, based on domestic league and continental competition minutes

Where a player just misses out and achieves between 10 and 14 points, they can appeal to an Exceptions Panel, for a fee of £5,000. The appeal process will only be in place for the January transfer window.

A player with less than 10 points cannot sign for a UK club and clubs will not be able to sign players from overseas until they are 18.

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