Following news Liverpool had agreed a deal for Roberto Firmino, word that the attacker wouldn’t qualify for an automatic work permit caused a brief stir amongst Liverpool fans. The FA, though, has told those fans not to worry—Firmino’s at no risk of not being granted a work permit. Realistically, of course, there was never really any doubt, but it’s still good to get it cleared up.
"He’s going to get in, there’s no concern here," an FA spokesman told the Liverpool Echo today when asked about Firmino’s chances of qualifying for a work permit when the window opens on July 1st. "Quality players will get in, the regulations are there to tackle average players. It is an independent panel according to the Home Office rules albeit run through the FA but there are not expected to be any problems."
Doubts had arisen due to the fact that Firmino hasn’t played in 30% of Brazil’s games over the past 24 months, but by the time he becomes a Liverpool player on July 1st the 2013 Confederations Cup—where he didn’t play—will no longer be counted and he will have played more than 30% of Brazil’s matches anyhow. Which means that he actually will have done enough to qualify for an automatic work permit come July 1st.
The regulations, though, have never been meant to keep a rising star like Firmino, one who will cost the club £29M when the deal officially goes through, out of the league. And in any case, at least now it’s been made clear to any Liverpool fan who actually was a little worried, and there’s one less potential stumbling block in the way of the deal becoming officially official.