Gherson is aware of a serious issue currently faced by Football Academies in the UK, which may include Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Fulham, Newcastle United and indeed all Premier League and Championship Clubs.
PBS dependant children (the children of skilled migrants and investors living and contributing to the UK economy) are being barred from registering with top sports academies due to a condition attached to their immigration approval which states: “no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)”.
The Home Office have taken the view that academy members (even minors aged 9 –12 for example) seek, in the future, to derive a living from playing as a sportsperson. It is unclear if these children can play for County teams or indeed 5-a-side clubs at this time.
There is a strong argument that this is a complete misinterpretation of the Rules. Moreover, if membership of an academy is considered to be “employment” then surely all academies are breaking child employment laws in respect of British children too!
This is yet another clear example of the Home Office policy makers’ determination not to encourage excellence in the UK.
Dependant children of PBS migrants are likely to obtain British Citizenship by the time they reach 18, so all the current policy does is frustrate their ambitions and development at a young age.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.