The entry of foreign players into the UK leagues has been restricted since the exit from the European Union. This led to the GBE (Government Body Endorsement), with which we were able to calculate and know which players could play in the UK leagues. That rule was recorded, we explained it in different texts and activated an automatic recognition application on our client platform where you can check how the player has earned his points or how many points he is missing and why he does not yet have the required 15 points.
Five transfer markets later, the UK government has opened its hand on certain criteria that will take effect from January 2024, with no effect on this summer transfer window 2023.
Elite Special Contribution Players (ESC Player)
Among them is the introduction of the figure of the ‘ESC Player’ or Elite Special Contribution Player who by level makes a great contribution to the league to which he arrives. A figure that allows the entry of players who meet the following assumptions:
1.1.1. played in at least one Youth Competitive International Match for a National Association ranked in the top 50 places in the Aggregated FIFA World Rankings;
1.1.2. played in at least five Youth Competitive International Matches for a National Association ranked outside the top 50 places in the Aggregated FIFA World Rankings;
1.1.3. played in at least one Continental Youth Competition Match;
1.1.4. played in at least five Domestic Youth Competition Matches;
1.1.5. played in at least one Senior Competitive International Match for a National Association ranked in the top 50 places in the Aggregated FIFA World Rankings;
1.1.6. played in at least five Senior Competitive International Matches for a National Association ranked outside the top 50 places in the Aggregated FIFA World Rankings;
1.1.7. played in at least one match in a Continental Competition; or
1.1.8. played in at least five Domestic Senior Competition Matches.
Clubs will have the option to recruit up to four ESC Players, two of them without other requirements and two more depending on the points obtained for giving minutes to local players, whose calculation is included in the official document sent by the FA (English FA).
With the new criteria, Andrey Santos, who currently does not meet the 15 points but could go to the Exception panel, would become an ‘ESC Player’ and could be included among the four available places, two directly, that Chelsea would have for this type of player.
One of the main criteria for earning points to play in the UK is the Banding System, which groups and classifies leagues according to their level. Depending on where a player gained experience, they could score more or less points. That Band system has now changed, with more value being given to experience gained in the MLS, Danish league, Japanese league, Korean league, Italian Serie B or Hungarian league, which move up a band and raise their status, while China or Russia lower their status.
- Band 1 means the English Premier League, the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1, UEFA Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.
- Band 2 means the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Eredivisie, Belgian First Division A, the Turkish Super Lig and the English Championship, UEFA Europa League and the Copa Sudamerica.
- Band 3 means the USA’s Major League Soccer, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Primera División of Argentina, Liga MX and the Scottish Premiership.
- Band 4 means the Czech First League, Croatian First Football League, the Swiss Super League, La Liga 2, Bundesliga 2, Ukrainian Premier League, the Greek Superleague, the Colombian Categoría Primera A, the Austrian Football Bundesliga, the Danish Superliga, Russian Premier League and Ligue 2.
- Band 5 means the Serbian SuperLiga, , the Polish Ekstraklasa, the Slovenian PrvaLiga, the Chilean Primera División, the Uruguayan Primera División, the Swedish Allsvenken division, the Norwegian Elitserien division, the Italian Serie B, the Hungarian Namzeti Bajnoksag I, the Japanese J1 League and the South Korean K League 1..
- Band 6 means all leagues not in Band 1, Band 2, Band 3, Band 4 or Band 5.
This change of bands, together with the creation of the ESC Player role, opens the door significantly to talent from these countries. By belonging to a Band 1-5 and playing five matches in a first division of one of the countries included in the first five bands, the player would become an ‘ESC Player’ and be able to enter one of the four places reserved for these players.
All this information is fully updated and automated in our database and our driblabPRO platform, where it can be consulted in the player’s file immediately.
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