Coventry City appear to have fallen victim to unclear FA guidelines in their failed attempt to sign the target lined up to replace Dom Hyam.
The Sky Blues recruitment department had identified German centre-back Marco Rente, a 6ft 2 ins tall defender who had previously played at Borussia Dortmund II before moving to the Dutch Eredivisie to play for Heracles Almelo, who were relegated from the top flight last season.
The 25-year-old was all lined up for a permanent move to the CBS Arena with a transfer fee agreed following the sale of Hyam to Blackburn Rovers for a reported £1.5million in the final week of the summer transfer window. He’d even completed a medical, with manager Mark Robins revealing: “We’d identified somebody and gone down the route with them and medicals and all that and it was turned down on a points-based system so we couldn’t do anything. That was earlier on in the week. So we had got a replacement. That was supported by the club. So again frustrated in that case.”
So what went wrong?
CoventryLive understands that under new movement rules following Brexit, Rente had collected 18 points from his season in the Dutch premier league. The rules state that a player requires 15 points to qualify for a work permit to work in England, so City felt confident to go-ahead with the transfer.
However, because the defender came off the bench and played 25 minutes for Heracles in the second division at the start of the new season, he lost six points, taking him down to 12 and therefore resulting in his work permit being rejected.
It’s understood that the Sky Blues believed the points system related to the previous season, with no information in the FA guidance to the contrary relating to the new campaign, which clearly resulted in a great deal of frustration.
City will not be able to revisit the transfer in January because Rente is now playing in the second tier in the Netherlands, and the player won’t be able to move to England to play unless he plays in the top flight again.
Fulham also suffered a transfer blow on deadline day when Justin Kluivert’s proposed move to Craven Cottage fell through after the Roma winger was denied a work permit to play in England.
Under new strict rules following the implementation of Brexit, clubs must now look to register a player by providing evidence to prove that they are able to work in the UK if they are arriving from abroad.
However, due to his lack of game time at Roma in recent years, the FA decided that Kluivert did not meet the criteria to warrant being given a work permit and Fulham have been denied the opportunity to appeal the decision.