By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The 2020 UK Summer Transfer Window for Women’s Football has produced some startling results.
Of the 73 new signings for the Women’s Super League (WSL) Clubs, only 23 have been English players. This means that 68.5% of these signings have been foreigners. In fact, 21 nationalities are represented in the signings.
In particular, Manchester United and Manchester City Women’s Clubs have signed four members of the US World Cup winning team!
Of course, this shows the growing popularity of the WSL in attracting foreign ‘stars’ but what about young English talent and their development and opportunities for playing in top teams?
To address this situation, it is reported that the WSL is introducing a ‘home grown’ players’ quota from the 2021-2022 season onwards.
Under the new rules agreed between the Clubs and the English FA (Football Association), which is also responsible for the women’s game, of each Club’s squad capped at 25 players, a minimum of 8 players must have been trained by their Club, or another Club in England, for at least three years before their twenty-first birthday.
The same quota rules will apply to the men’s game.
Also, following the UK’s final exit from the European Union (‘Brexit’) at the end of this year, there will be further restrictions on the recruitment of foreign players. Only the ‘top’ talent is expected to be granted a work permit.
It is also reported that, before all WSL matches, there will be a minute’s applause to show appreciation of the National Health Service in their fight against the Coronavirus, following which all the teams are set to take a knee to show solidarity for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
A sign of the times in which we are living!