Brighton handed major transfer boost after FA rule change

By Sean Fisher

31st Aug, 2023 | 7:33pm

Sources: Brighton handed major transfer boost amid FA rule change

The new ESC endorsement path will give clubs such as Brighton the ability to scout a wider pool of talent, sources have told Football Insider.

The Seagulls have thrived in the transfer market in recent seasons, signing relatively unknown players and transforming them into Premier League stars.

Kaoru Mitoma signed for Brighton in 2021 but was loaned out to Union SG in his first season as the Premier League outfit needed sufficient points for a Governing Body Endorsement.

However, the Home Office approved new changes to the Governing Body Endorsement system for international player visas in June.

The new system allows English sides to sign more non-UK talented players based on the number of minutes given to English Qualified Players throughout the season before.

Owen Chan and Kelvin Tanner from law firm Charles Russell Speechlys explained to Football Insider how the ESC Endorsement Path could affect scouting and transfers at English clubs.

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Clubs now have the ability to recruit talent directly from a much wider pool, particularly from lesser known clubs or players from a country that is ranked outside of the top 50 in the FIFA world ranking.

“Rather than delaying signing or immediately loaning out a player to a club in a higher-tiered league to accumulate sufficient points for a GBE, clubs can now secure young talent early potentially at lower transfer fees.

“This allows them to save some money – thereby making compliance with Financial Fair Play/sustainability rules more straightforward – while remaining competitive against their domestic and European rivals. 

“Smaller clubs may also now have a better chance at competing against bigger clubs through good scouting and/or focusing on developing homegrown talent.   

“It remains to be seen how the clubs will use their ESC slots. 

“However, it is likely that there will be an increase in foreign young players coming to the UK, potentially from clubs in the second divisions of Europe’s “Big 5’ leagues and/or in Japan and South Korea which are the only qualifying Asian leagues.

“As the rules continue to evolve the challenge remains to identify the appropriate balance between supporting the long-term success of English teams by creating a sufficient pipeline of home-grown talent, while meeting the needs of the professional clubs who want access to the widest possible talent pool.

“In line with everything else in football, the data/numbers on home-grown player match time and number of foreign players entering the English game over the next couple of seasons will be scrutinised intensely to see if the hitherto elusive balance has finally been achieved.”

In other news, Brighton agree Carlos Baleba deal as Liverpool twist revealed