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Player transfer rules between the UK and EU countries

This has come up again most recently from @MikeTasmania, so I thought I'd repost my case study from 14th June on why we would be able to transfer Joel Piroe. If you want to read the rules worth doing in conjunction with the case study, as once you work through it, its pretty simple.

"Ok I've looked at the detailed rules regarding the EU player transfers, and its not great news initially. This will be quite a long post as its complicated.

The rules are complex but roughly you need to look at the player through a series of different criteria. You can either be entitled to an automatic pass or you need to accumulate 15 points to get a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE)

  1. Player's International Appearances - if you are consistently appearing for your international team (doesnt seem to include u21 teams etc) then depending on the country's FIFA ranking you can get auto pass or a high number of points towards your GBE.
  2. Player's Domestic Minutes Played - this depends on the rating of the League you play in and the %age of the total number of minutes played/total minutes available. There is also points available for a youth player making his debut. All these points counts towards the GBE.
  3. Player's Continental Minutes - this depends on playing in competitions like the Champions League and Europa League. It is banded again based on the rating of the competition, but you do have to play more than 30% of total available minutes to get any points, quite a high bar. Again all these points count towards the GBE.

So now the bad news. I cant see Joel qualifying for auto pass or any points based on international appearances. His domestic minutes arent high enough (again over 30% required) to get any points and because he was born I believe in August 1999 he misses the cut off date by 4 months for a youth player making his debut. So again no points.

Whilst Joel did play a full match in the Europa League (and scored twice on what was his debut in the competition) his minutes again are too low in my view to qualify for any points towards his GBE.

Not great news!

However there is one final criteria that doesnt apply to the player but applies to the club and its success as long as the player has

i) The Player appeared in the matchday squad list for the Players Last Club for at least one match in its domestic league competition, or

ii) The value of the Player's Domestic Cup Minutes was at least 1% during the last season.

The critical areas here are the words 'or' and 'Last Club'

As it says 'or' Joel qualifies under point i) as he has appeared in the match day squad many times. The issue is the 'Last Club' because Joel also played for Jong PSV in the Jupiler League.

However as I read the definition I believe Joel qualifies under this section for his contracted club PSV rather that Jong PSV, because he returned late in the season and was clearly in the matchday squad for 3 matches and did play minutes in all 3 matches.

If that is confirmed then we look to see what points Joel accumulates due to the success in the season of his Last Club PSV. This is where the good news starts.

i) Final League position of Last Club - PSV play in a band 2 league and ended up second in the league so they are through to the Champions league qualifiers for next year. If I have this right that earns the Club and hence Joel 3 points as it s a Band 1 Continental Competition.

ii) Continental Progression of Player's Last Club - PSV played in the Europa League last season and I believe they made through to the Round of 32. As the Europa League is a Band 2 Competition, if I have that right then that earns the Club and hence Joel a further 3 points.

iii) Finally the League Quality of the Player's Current Club - this is just based on the Banding of the League your Current Club plays in. PSV play in the Eredivise which is a Band 2 League from what I have read, which earns the Club and hence Joel a further 10 points.

This brings the grand total of points to 16 points which just gets us over the line with one point to spare. That is dependent of my reading of the rules, interpretation of words like 'Last Club' and exactly how far PSV got in the Europa League last year. I have erred on the side of caution and been strict with my interpretations because that tends to be how these rules work.

It's tight, very tight but I believe Joel will have enough points for the GBE. So Club get the application in now."

What I will say is I dont believe we will be targeting EU countries for this round of players, firstly because of the need for the transfers to move quickly and the possible impact of any quarentine rules and secondly Russell Martin and his team probably have more experience and knowledge of the UK market.



  • Thanks JR for your analysis of the points system that is in place.

    It’s a very convoluted and restrictive set of hoops to jump through by my reckoning.

    Red tape such as this is an interference that serves no purpose and consequently is not good for business.

  • Sorry JackRaven i must have missed this analysis/thread. Great write up and very detailed. Sadly not the answer i wanted as Bodde, Rangel, Gomez et al would never have got the opportunity with us and that going forward virtually kills all hope of us unearthing any gems abroad. So identifying from premier league academies, lower leagues and non-league football will be our future. Over to you Andy Scott.

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