The Women’s Super League will introduce a homegrown quota in the 2021-22 season to protect the number of English talents in the game as the league expands and becomes more attractive to foreign players.
There has been an increase in players from overseas in the WSL in recent years with a particular spike in moves this summer from players in Australia and the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are negotiations in both men and women’s football as to how overseas players may be affected by Brexit.
From next season, of each club’s squad cap of 25 registered players, a minimum of eight must have been trained by their club, or another club in England, for at least three years prior to their 21st birthday.
In the Women’s Championship – England’s second tier – a higher proportion of players (60%) will have to be homegrown. Championship squad sizes vary, but a full-sized squad of 25 players would need at least 15 who were homegrown, or 14 in a squad of 24.
“We have an agreement with the clubs and the board that from 2021-22, we’ll bring in homegrown quotas that will be the same as the men’s game,” said the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, Kelly Simmons.
“The other big one that will impact a club’s abilities to access foreign talent will be once we ‘Brexit’.
“That will inevitably make it more challenging [to sign for an English club], unless you’re a top talent.
“We want world-class players and we’ve seen some amazing signings. That’s brilliant for the league and it’s brilliant for the England players because those who are playing here, they’re playing against some of the best players in the world.
“Of course, we want to make sure that we’ve got space for English talent as well. It’s always about trying to find that balance and work with the clubs and the league board to get the right balance.”