Burton-On-Trent (UK): The English Football Association's (FA) new technical director Les Reed believes Brexit could give more English players opportunities to play in the Premier League.
The FA are keen to see the minimum number of 'homegrown' players in the 25-man squad Premier League clubs must register rise from 8 to 12.
These do not have to be British but must have been registered to an English or Welsh club for three years before turning 21.
"My feeling is that at the moment we're running around 32-34 percent of players playing in the Premier League (being English) so just over a third," Reed said on Wednesday.
"We want to keep that and try and improve on that. What we don't want to do is have regulations which knock us back to where we were at times last season, down to 26-27 percent."
Players from the European Union (EU), including many who represent South American and African nations at international level but hold EU passports, could have to satisfy much stricter requirements to be handed a work permit after Brexit.
The current system for non-EU players takes into account international appearances, the transfer fee, proposed wages, and recent playing history to determine whether they receive a Governing Body Endorsement from the Football Association.
Were these restrictions applied across the board, marquee signings would likely not be stopped. However, in the ever more competitive transfer market, British clubs could be robbed of the opportunity to find hidden gems at the lower end of the market.
"By going worldwide, it's going to be a massive market so we need to have regulations around the endorsement that mean we can protect our pool of talent that are homegrown," added Reed.
'Best league in the world'
However, he is aware of the balancing act that must be struck to maintain the Premier League's status — as in his words — "the best league in the world".
Last season, all four finalists from the Champions and Europa League came from England.
"I think the key thing is that we respect that we need a strong league and we want the Premier League to be a strong league because that's good for football in this country — getting four teams to European finals can only be good for football in this country," added Reed.
"We definitely want the Premier League to remain the best league in the world. We definitely want to make sure the Premier League is a very attractive league and proposition, but at the same time, we want to be able to get exposure for young England players.
"It's a combination of what's happens with Brexit, can we change people's mindsets, can the players showcase themselves anyway and get managers thinking in a different way? Reed believes that progress is already being made with Premier League clubs trusting more in products from their academy.
A 12-month transfer ban imposed on Chelsea has resulted in a huge change of culture at Stamford Bridge in Frank Lampard's first season in charge with youngsters such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham starring.
Mount was one of four uncapped players included in Gareth Southgate's squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers this week against Bulgaria and Kosovo. Jadon Sancho, 19, has already established himself in the England team after making the bold move to join Borussia Dortmund two years ago.
"We've got a number now kind of leading the way in actually making appearances and getting in the top-six teams and showing that they can do that, which hopefully will change a little bit of the mindset around whether young English players can do that," added Reed.
"I think the combination of interest from abroad plus one or two now making headway at the top end of the game, hopefully, will then open the door for a lot more."
Updated Date: Sep 05, 2019 12:16:12 IST