According to a report by The Times, the English Football Association (FA) is planning to limit English Premier League teams to a maximum of 12 foreign players in an effort to deal with the changes that will come with the UK exit from the European Union, better known as Brexit.

Premier League FA Brexit
The FA wants Premier League clubs to sign fewer foreign players as part of a deal over Brexit though that would likely impact stars like Manchester Citys Kevin De Bruyne. (Image: Getty)

At the moment, EPL clubs can carry as many as 17 foreign players on their 25-man first-team squads. Currently, 13 EPL teams have more than 12 overseas players on their rosters.

Deal Would Impact Top EPL Teams

The goal would be to increase the number of homegrown players in the league while also making for a smooth transition for clubs post-Brexit. If the clubs agree to the change, the FA would then agree to sign a government body endorsement for a work permit for every foreign player who gets a job with a Premier League club, something that the FA currently primarily reserves for elite players.

We are continuing to work with the Premier League, EFL [English Football League], and a range of government departmentsduring this consultation period, a spokesperson for the FA told Reuters.

Should the clubs fail to reach an agreement with the FA, then it could become tougher for EPL teams to bring in players from EU nations. While it would still be possible, those players would be subjected to the same criteria that non-EU players currently face in order to get work permits.

Most of the biggest clubs in England would be impacted by a limit on foreign players. Premier League leader Manchester City has the maximum of 17 on its roster, as does Tottenham. Liverpool and Chelsea have 16 each, while Arsenal employs 15 overseas players and Manchester United has 14 on its squad.

FA Wants Limits on Bog-Standard Foreign Players

The FAs proposal is likely aimed at run-of-the-mill foreign players who it feels are taking jobs from equally talented English footballers. With the number of required homegrown players increasing, the hope would be that more local athletes would be given the chance to train with and play against a mix of the best players from home and abroad.

We dont want to stop the outstanding talent coming here, but there are an awful lot of bog-standard players as well, FA chairman Greg Dyke told the BBC back in 2015, when speaking about efforts to improve the number of English players in the countrys top league. The future England team by and large play for the top six sides. If you look in Germany, or Spain, its always the same. And amongst the top six sides the decline in English players is quite marked.

While UK voters narrowly supported leaving the EU in a 2016 vote, the details of how the nation would break away from the European Union have remained contentious. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May won a victory by gaining the support of her Cabinet for a draft deal on how the exit would occur, though she will still need approval from the EU and the UK Parliament. The UKs exit is slated to take place in March 2019.