Collection of Nike footballs

Illegal Approach

An illegal approach happens when clubs do not give notices of approaches to other clubs when wanting to sign or allow players to train with them. 

Below are the rules which all clubs must follow.


Formal written notice of approach needs to be given by the following;

  • a Saturday Club only to all Saturday Clubs
  • a Sunday Club only to all Sunday Clubs
  • a midweek Club only to all midweek Clubs

This must be sent to either the club secretary or chairman of the club before an approach is made to the player.

If a player makes an approach to your club, you must send the notice of approach to the club they are registered with before allowing this player to train or sign with your club.

It does not matter if you are in a different league to the club that the player is currently registered with, notice of approach must still be given.

It does not matter if the player is going to play for their previous club as well as your club, notice of approach must still be given.

It is both the Clubs responsibility to make sure that notices of approach are sent to all Clubs that the Player is registered with. 

Following the notice of approach being sent, or receipt of the other club wavering the notice of approach, the following can then happen;

  • the player maybe registered on or after the eighth day; and
  • the player must have been registered on or before the 21st day.

The approaching club;

  • may not approach the same Player a second time in the same playing season.
  • may approach only one Player at a Club at any time.
  • may not approach another Player at the same Club within 28 days of an earlier notice of approach or acknowledgement.

A club which is the subject of a complaint alleging failure to give notice in accordance with this Rule maybe subject to a charge of Misconduct under FA Rule E1(b).

If a club is proved to have breached this rule, they may have the current registration of the Player cancelled and be subject to other penalty as The Association deems appropriate.

For further information about illegal approaches or any other discipline related matter, please contact us: or 01481 200443