FA fear that Premier League side’s are using foreign clubs to beat system

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The Football Association are on alert amid growing concerns that Premier League clubs are bending their work permit rules by purchasing overseas teams.

It has frustrated other top-flight sides, who have been working together to persuade the FA to relax strict rules that have limited foreign recruitment since Brexit.

Elite clubs have argued that by denying English players the chance to train with the best foreign talent, the FA will hurt the standard of the national team. The governing body are said to be open to tweaking their rules — news that has been greeted with optimism.

However, there are fears that their efforts are being jeopardised by an escalating ploy to circumvent foreign eligibility rules by purchasing clubs in other countries — which the FA have cottoned on to.

Positioning players at foreign sides, where they will play regular senior football, enables clubs to build enough points on the FA’s GBE system to secure a move to England.

Indeed, one source says it is cheaper to buy an overseas club than sign a talented young homegrown player.

Manchester City are among the clubs to have adopted a multi-club system through parent company City Football Group, who in July added Italian outfit Palermo to Troyes of France and Spain’s Girona.

Chelsea’s co-controlling owner Todd Boehly has also publicly spoken of his wish to add a portfolio of teams under their main umbrella.

Chelsea are in talks over purchasing a Portuguese team, which sources have indicated is on course to be completed in a matter of months.

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