Since the entry into force of Brexit, players from the EU must indeed obtain a work permit, the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE), for the right to play in the Premier League or the Championship, the equivalent of Ligue 2. « This is obtained through a points system, 15 in total, calculated according to the number of caps, minutes played, etc. », explain to us sports economist Luc Arrondel. Players of the caliber of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar or Memphis Depay, or even the ex-Marseillais Morgan Sanson, transferred to Aston Villa in the last days of the winter transfer window, have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, a starting player in Ligue 2 will encounter more problems to acquire it. « Basically, out of ten players, if we manage to sign three, it’s the end of the world »loose Yvan Le Mée. « With the economic problem linked to the Covid crisis, plus the new regulations, it will become a real miracle to transfer a player to England. Tickets to play there will cost even more. »
With this new scale, among the foreign players of the English championship, many are those who could not have taken the plunge. « Concretely, this summer, I signed Niels Nkounkou to Everton and Anthony Gomez Mancini to Burnley. Since January 1, these are two young people who would no longer have this possibility »assures us the representative of the international Ferland Mendy. « The trajectories would have been different. One did not play at OM, he played five games with Ancelotti. The other had no playing time at Angers, he made three benches in the Premier League. C It’s the same with Famara Diedhiou. Today, he would be unable to sign from Angers to Bristol (in the Championship), while he slams fifteen goals per season each year. What is incredible is that it’s going to make and break careers. »
More flashy examples allow us to convince ourselves of this. A few years earlier, players with a large list of honors from their time in the Premier League would simply not have been able to cross the Channel. With a season in Ligue 1 with Lorient, the former French international Laurent Koscielny would not have fulfilled the necessary criteria to be recruited by Arsenal in 2010. In the same way, N’Golo Kanté, revealed in Caen in 2015 , should have waited before making Leicester happy.