Thanks to some changes in the existing work permit recommendation for English clubs due to Brexit, Percy Tau managed to realize his dream of playing in the Premier League. However, there are a few South Africans who could potentially join the Lion of Judah in one of the biggest leagues in the world.
The changes to the regulations now mean that English clubs will now need to apply for a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) for a work permit for every player who doesn’t hold a British passport.
The previous requirements, and the old points system, meant many clubs struggled to get work permits for players signed from outside the EU. Therefore, the entry requirements have been altered in order to make it easier than it might have been for English football clubs to sign overseas players post-Brexit.
Tau for example, managed to secure his move into Graham Potter’s side after meeting the minimum requirement of 15 points, thanks to his stints with Belgian giants Club Brugge the season before.
The 26-year-old played in the UEFA Champions league which is classified as a band 1 continental competition giving him between eight and 10 points. They also played in the UEFA Europa League, which provided an additional 3-5 points, dependent on Tau’s minutes played for Brugge.
According to the new regulations players also receive points for playing in band 1 leagues such as the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1.
In this case Keagan Dolly, who plays for Montpellier, falls into this category, in which he could score 12 points, but because the 28-year-old has not been a regular, he could score a lower points tally of around nine points.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns man could also score a number of points for appearing in the matchday squad for at least one match in domestic league or continental competition, which he has done for the last season.
This would then mean that should an English club show interest in Dolly, he would then qualify for a UK work permit based on points accumulated from his last season.
Although the pointing system remains complex, there is hope that a number of South African players could be gracing the Premier League stage in years to come.
Click through the gallery above to see the rest of the SA players who could qualify for UK work permits