Home Global Game Europe Would U.K. rubber stamp a work permit for De Rosario?

Would U.K. rubber stamp a work permit for De Rosario?

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As the Dwayne De Rosario-to-Celtic drama plays on, it’s time to address the elephant in the room.

And that’s the work permit.

If Celtic was to make arrangements with Toronto FC and MLS to bring the Reds’ captain to the Bhoys, even though TFC is claiming that De Ro is in Scotland without the club’s permission, there is no guarantee that a 32-year-old Canadian forward would be quickly granted permission to work in Glasgow by the U.K. government.

The U.K. is very sticky about granting work permits to players who come from countries that have been out of the top 70 in the FIFA world rankings, on average, over the previous two years. That means if Celtic was to make some sort of deal for Toronto FC’s all-time leading scorer — and easily the most talented player to wear the TFC colours in the club’s tumultuous four-year history — it would likely have to make an appeal to get the papers checkmarked by the U.K authorities.

Remember that, a decade ago, Dundee United had to go through a series of time-consuming applications and appeals before Canadian keeper Pat Onstad was given the green light to play.

Celtic can’t afford to wait — the club wants reinforcements post-haste as the club looks to try and pass Rangers in the SPL table.

Yes, Celtic has more star power than, say, a Championship or Division-3 side in England, so it should be easier for the Bhoys to convince a bureaucrat of DeRo’s importance than it would be for Preston North End to win an appeal; PNE lost an appeal to get Canadian Jason Bent onto its roster in 2001.

It’s harder for a lower-division team to convince a panel that some Canadian is a better candidate for a job than an EU resident than it would be for Celtic, which still gets into European football, to make its case that DeRo is a special enough player to be fast-tracked. The EU is filled with Div.-2 caliber players, but top-flite players are much rarer. So the law of averages works for Celtic… at least a little bit.

But that’s not a guarantee. Ask Pat Onstad.

Late Tuesday afternoon, TFC interim GM Earl Cochrane added some comments to the club’s release about DeRo’s status.

“I was contacted a little more than a month ago by Dwayne (De Rosario) and his representative —asking if we would entertain a loan or training stint. We said we would but would need assurances and final sign-off on it — that an agreement would need to be in place that we were comfortable with.

“Dwayne’s agent contacted me and asked if we would let Dwayne train with a club and we said we would, but again would have to have something official in place that would provide us with some assurances that should Dwayne get hurt we would be covered. They understood that completely.

“I have not received anything official from Dwayne or his agent or Celtic. MLS will reach out to Celtic to clear up this situation and will do what is best for Toronto FC.”

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