Like every other Premier League club, after the end of August Rafa Benitez had to name the (up) to 25 senior players in his Newcastle United squad.
Within that squad, each club had to submit a list containing no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the “Home Grown Player” (HGP) criteria.
The rest of the squad, up to a total of 25 players, must be Home Grown.
An HGP means a player who, irrespective of nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to The Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
Newcastle easily met the home grown quota, with 10 of the 25 named being HGP, the squad shown below.
25 Squad players (*=Home grown)
Gutierrez, Ayoze Perez
Hayden, Isaac Scot*
Ki, Sung Yueng
Lejeune, Florian Gregoire Claude
Manquillo Gaitan, Javier
Mato Sanmartin, Jose Luis
Murphy, Jacob Kai*
Nunes Nascimento, Robert Kenedy
Ritchie, Matthew Thomas*
Schar, Fabian Lukas
Sterry, Jamie Michael*
Twasam, Christian Atsu
However, the FA have now drawn up proposals to deal with Brexit, under which the balance will change and clubs can only have 13 that are not home grown, meaning the other 12 places are for home grown, rather than just eight at the minute.
The FA insist they will push through this plan even if Brexit doesn’t happen.
The FA plan is in response to the government asking them and the Premier League & Football League to agree a joint policy, which they (the Government) would then back and put into operation.
Premier League bosses have expressed their opposition but the FA has the backing of the Home Office and for once, their (the FA’s) will is confidently expected to win over the wishes of the Premier League.
If PL clubs don’t agree with FA plans they know it could/would be a disaster because a ‘no deal’ situation would mean there would be then the same criteria for players from European Union countries, as there is currently for non-EU players. Under those rules 65% of European players currently with PL clubs would not have met the GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) allowing them to play in England.
Regardless of the Brexit result, the FA is committed to ensuring more English players will be featuring in the Premier League in the future.
Any change won’t come into effect until 2021 at the earliest and the FA is hoping to encourage clubs to agree by offering to relax the GBE criteria for Premier League clubs recruiting players from South America, Africa and Asia, making it as easy to sign them as players from Europe.
Of the 10 current NUFC home grown players, four are first team choices – Lascelles, Shelvey, Ritchie, Dummett.
Whilst the other six are making up the numbers – Clark, Murphy, Sterry, Hayden, Darlow, Elliot.
By reducing the number of overseas players allowed in Premier League squads, it would automatically increase the value of home grown players as more would be needed in squads.