FA’s Greg Dyke reveals plans for stricter work permit restrictions


“How many other Harry Kanes are around in the youth teams of Premier League clubs?”

That’s what FA chairman Greg Dyke is hoping to find out, and he’s got his wish. Thanks to a new rule outline revealed today, English clubs will have much stricter guidelines when it comes to foreign players coming to the league in a few years.

Dyke believes the sheer volume of foreign players coming to the Premier League is blocking the path of some English players and stunting their growth. “We believe too many talented English kids are currently not getting through the system and being lost,” Dyke said. He pointed to Harry Kane, Tottenham’s 21-year-old striker who came seemingly from nowhere and is suddenly one of the top scores in the league this year.

“It was almost by chance that Tim Sherwood became manager at Tottenham for a time and put him in the side,” Dyke pointed out. “Otherwise he would still be out on loan at Millwall or somewhere else.

So now, thanks to Kane’s success, Dyke has convinced the FA to run with his plan. The guidelines include:

  • “Homegrown players” must be registered with their club by age 15, a drop from the current required age of 18
  • The minimum required number of “homegrown players” on a 25-man roster will increase to 12, from the current minimum of eight.
  • The rules will introduce a requirement of two “club-trained” players – defined as any player, irrespective of nationality, that has been registered for three years at their current club from the age of 15.

There will also be a serious increase in the restrictions placed on work permits issued to non-European based players. As the BBC puts it, “Only the best non-EU foreign players will be granted permission to play in England, with the process for dealing with appeals to be tightened.”

Dyke said that while he isn’t trying to decrease the talent level of the league, he hopes to weed out the lower-level players eating up spots for English talent. As a result, many of the players currently in the league wouldn’t have been allowed to sign up. “If you apply the system we are just introducing over the last five years, a third of non-EU overseas players that have come here wouldn’t get in,” Dyke said. “We don’t want to stop the outstanding talent coming here, but there are an awful of bog-standard players as well.

He outlined a timeline that would slowly introduce the rules over the next few years, allowing teams time to thin their rosters to become compliant with the new guidelines.

“If we could get all this through, over the next three, four or five years, you could see the numbers of home-grown players going up from a percentage in the high 20s to 40%,” Dyke said. “It matters that this happens across the whole of English football, but it particularly matters to the top end of the Premier League.”

According to the Associated Press, the new rules would have prevented American players such as Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea from signing with Premier League clubs. Both men signed with Stoke City, with Cameron joining in 2012 and Shea coming to England a year later.

Southgate, England players sound off on racist abuse

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England took care of business in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria, but the Three Lions had to endure some horrendous racist abuse from the crowd during the game.

The match was paused on two occasions I’m the first half by the match officials after racist chanting could be heard from a section of supporters, and a large group of Bulgarian fans were ejected towards the end of the half. However, racist abuse continued during the match from small pockets of fans in the stadium.

[READ: England v. Bulgaria delayed after racist abuse from stands]

“I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly,” England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV after the match. “We reported everything immediately when we heard things, we had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players, all the way through the first half in particular, and then again at halftime.

”We know it’s an unacceptable situation, and I think we’ve managed to make two statements. By winning the game, but also we’re raised the awareness of everybody to the situation. The game was stopped twice, I know for some people that won’t be enough, but we as a group were on board with that process.”

Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace in the win, also sounded off on social media, as did former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright.

Ultimately, UEFA and the match officials followed the protocol, but the sad part about this is that England and the officials had a plan for racist abuse, and it was predictable that it would happen.

In a statement after the game, the FA confirmed they would be asking UEFA to investigate what happened. However, any punishment is too little, too late for the players who endured the abuse.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

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On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.


Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

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With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.