New GBE Status Descriptors

Making the eligibility of overseas players easier to predict

Since the start of January, football clubs in the Premier League and EFL have had to adapt to new rules which require players from abroad to gain a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement). As part of this, we were one of the first to create a GBE status calculator in our Portal which allows recruiters to instantly evaluate a player’s eligibility. We’ve now updated this feature to include more detail which makes it even easier for recruiters to have a more in depth view of a player’s eligibility based on a series of immigration criteria.

Why the change?

Our initial GBE calculator was released into the Portal in December, which showed the breakdown of only the points for each player based on the criteria. As a result of the popularity of this feature, and the need for more detail, we have introduced descriptors. Due to the complexity of the immigration criteria, the descriptors provide a much more detailed view on a player’s eligibility. This allows for more informed decision making and predictability of future eligibility.

The Criteria

Based on the points system that was introduced January 2021, each player can gain points from 6 criteria:

  • Club Domestic Performances – How successful was the player’s club domestically in it’s last full season.
  • Continental Appearances – How many minutes as a % of the total possible has the player played in the current season.
  • Continental Cup Performances – How successful was the player’s club in continental cups in it’s last full season.
  • Domestic Appearances – How many minutes as a % of the total possible has the player played.
  • Domestic League Quality – Which of the 6 bands is the club performing at.
  • International Appearances – How many appearances has the player made in the last 24 months (12 months for players under 21) and at what level of competition.

The below diagram shows each of the potential eligibility status’ that can be attributed to a certain player based on their points.


The New Ai Abacus GBE Status Descriptors Explained

Every player in the Ai Abacus portal now has an Eligibility status, as shown on the player profile graphic, which was introduced in December. As part of this, users are able to view the immigration criteria on the player profile page, which shows the breakdown of points for each of the criteria.

Using Jonathan Rodríguez as an example, he is 1 of 113 players eligible for a move to the Premier League/EFL from Liga MX and is one of the leagues top scorers. The below comparison shows our previous calculator vs our new version. Whilst the previous version still shows the points breakdown, the updated version shows exactly what has contributed to the points in each criteria.

With 34 points in total, Rodríguez is well over the required 15 points. Using the new descriptors, it’s clear that International Appearances play a key part in his eligibility, having played 5 out of 8 internationals for Uruguay in the last 24 months. Playing for Cruz Azul also contributes to 8 points, with Liga Mex being in Band 3. However, if he played in a Band 5 league, such as Uruguayan Primera División in his home country, the amount of points gained would be lower.

The 6 League ‘Bands’

As previously mentioned, the 6 bands represent the quality of each domestic league with Band 1 including the “top five leagues” in Europe. Whilst the rules will restrict the recruitment of Premier League and EFL clubs, they will also present new opportunities to sign players from leagues known for producing talented players. The top leagues in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico have all been placed in Band 3, which should make it easier to sign players from these leagues based on the new points system. See the below graphic for a breakdown of which leagues fit into each of the 6 ‘Bands’.

To read our previous analysis of why players might think twice about moving to the Chinese Super League because of the new GBE criteria, click here. Alternatively, take a look at some of the other blogs and case studies we have done here.