Premier League and English Football League clubs will no longer be able to sign players from the European Union without a valid work permit unless they surpass a threshold based on the quality of the selling club and the player's seniority.
The EPL and EFL announced the measures in a joint statement Tuesday, clarifying for the first time the effects of Brexit on English football. The United Kingdom is officially separating from the EU on Dec. 31.
The new rules will be in effect starting January 2021.
Previously, only players with passports from outside the EU and the European Economic Area required a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) to join an English club.
All players who want to move to England will now have to apply for a GBE. A GBE is a type of work permit that is awarded based on certain criteria, including:
Clubs in the top four tiers will also be banned from signing overseas players under the age of 18, cutting off a potential pipeline for talent. The provision would have prevented the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal from signing Paul Pogba and Cesc Fabregas, respectively. Both players arrived in England before turning 18.
"Players accumulating the requisite amount of points will earn a GBE automatically, while players just below the threshold may be considered for a GBE by an exceptions panel," the Premier League said.
Additional measures were put in place to promote homegrown talent. Premier League clubs can now sign a maximum of six overseas Under-21 players per season.