Revealed: How Rangers can exploit Premier League feud to sign next Antonio Colak

Rangers currently have the opportunity to sign players who are not yet eligible to play in the English pyramid because of post-Brexit rules implemented by the FA, Football Insider has learned.

A points-based system which, among other variables, factors in the number of international caps a player has before they are permitted to sign for a UK club was introduced following the withdrawal from the European Union in 2020.

Players looking to sign for English clubs from foreign leagues must accrue 15 points to qualify automatically, while any player with 10 or more points is eligible to go before an appeals panel.

But in Scotland, any player who has not met the 15-point threshold is entitled to appeal, and it was this discrepancy which allowed Antonio Colak to sign for Rangers from Greek side PAOK in July.

The Croatian forward, 29, has been a shining light in an otherwise turgid season for the Glasgow giants, netting 14 times in 24 appearances across all competitions as well as laying on two assists.

The Premier League is currently lobbying the FA to relax the points-based system which they argue has led to them being held to ransom in the foreign transfer market because of the reduction in the size of the recruitment pool.

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But English football’s chief governing body, who believes that the system is beneficial for the development of homegrown talent, is unlikely to relent in the feud any time soon.

This gives Scottish clubs an advantage over their rivals south of the border, explains David Diaz, head of both the Sports Law and Employment & Compensation departments at international legal firm Baker McKenzie.

“I think it’s a perfect chance to attract talent for Scottish clubs,” he told Football Insider.

“It’s a great league to showcase players, raise their value and raise the level of the league as a whole. This is a good springboard for these players to increase their total number of points, get into their national teams and maybe eventually end up in the Premier League.

“It is an opportunity and the idea will be to get really talented players in from abroad who can’t sign for English clubs. This is the case not only for the likes of Rangers and Celtic but also for teams beyond that.

“We are seeing progressively more and more multi-club models at the top clubs. Everyone is talking about this. This represents a good opportunity for foreign investors to buy into Scottish clubs as well.

“It’s difficult to know yet whether the new rules are working from the FA’s perspective. If the goal is to strengthen British football and young talent, we will need to wait to see if this system is successful.

“But it is interesting to see how the approach has changed. The Premier League spent £1.9bn in the summer and the profile was high-calibre players, those whose track record is consistent with the GBE points system. But because the talent pool is restricted by the rules, that spend would have been lesser if the rules were more relaxed.

“My understanding is the Premier League are pushing hard, but my view is that it could be contingent on how England performs in the World Cup because that is a test of the strength of their homegrown players. But we will not see a change in the near future.

“From Scotland’s perspective, I think they will need to take lessons from the next couple of years in order to figure out how well the points system is working with the specifics of their league.”

In other news, Rangers told £1.5m will seal January Ben Jackson deal.