English clubs face Irish Brexit recruitment crisis

18 February 2020

Neill Quinn
Photo: PA Images Two former top players from Ireland who made it in England, Steve Staunton (L) and Neill Quinn (R). Today Quinn is the deputy CEO of the FA of Ireland.

Brexit will stop flow of young Irish players into English academies.

Ireland is the leading source of foreign players across all four English divisions; proportionally more Irish players in the EPL than English players.

Former Premier League star now leading FAI “welcomes” the development having been “robbed” of his education as young player, but much work needed to pull Irish youth system up to date.

Ex-Ireland international tells offthepitch.com there is “no evidence” that players benefit from missing out on English youth football structures.

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

Research by offthepitch.com shows that English league clubs face an academy recruitment crisis under Brexit, with up to 75 per cent of Irish footballers prevented from entering English league clubs before the age of 18, cutting off one of the game’s most potent sources of talent.

Ireland is the leading source of non-English players across all four divisions, but under FIFA rules English clubs will not be allowed to recruit non-EU players under the age of 18 when the Brexit transition period ends in December.

Do you want to read this article?

Get instant access by signing up for a 7-day free trial

No credit card, no commitments and it will expire automatically.

You will receive a link that activates your trial in an email.