How will Brexit affect the Premier League?

 By Samuel Brady

Brexit has been a running theme through the last few years when it was announced we were to leave the EU back in 2016. With Brexit set to massively change all aspects of the UK and the rest of Europe, not much attention has been paid as to how it will affect football and specifically the Premier League. 

Many people are likely to turn their TV’s over to watch the Premier League to get away from the headache of Brexit, but the reality is that England’s topflight will be affected. 

Back in 2016, all 20 Premier League clubs were against the vote to leave the EU. Nobody will really know the extent of how Brexit will impact the topflight due to what type of deal is reached but there are some theories and scenarios which could be likely: 

Work Permits

Work permits already offer Premier League clubs’ difficulty when signing some overseas players and this dilemma is likely going to be hardened by Brexit. In order for a player to complete a move to his new team they must obtain a work permit to be able to be employed on UK soil. With players already outside the EU needing this permit it’ll make it all the harder to get deals across the line for clubs. 

Transfer fees

The current football market is always inflating with players transfer fees rising year on year. When the UK leaves the EU, this trend is likely to continue to rise enormously for the Premier League clubs. The league is already the richest league in the world and with trading being a huge part of Brexit its likely to ensure that clubs in the topflight will have to pay inflated fees to add to their squads. With the pound also decreasing in value below the euro in the loom of Brexit, clubs are already experiencing the drawbacks. 

Appeal factor 

With the Premier Leagues status of being the best league in the world, with the game’s best players coming to the league to showcase their talents, that status could be tarnished. This could be the case if the UK Government delivers a hard Brexit or even no deal, in return would mean players would be less inclined to move to the top flight due to reduced finances; therefore being at a disadvantage to other European clubs when it comes to battling it out for the top talent. 

English players playing abroad 

The influx of top foreign players plying their trade in the Premier League has meant that for some of the club’s homegrown youngsters’ playtime is hard to come by. As a result of this players such as Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson, Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman have left for pastures new abroad, with all previously mentioned having played in the Bundesliga. However, with Brexit this could mean that it will become harder for English players to be employed by clubs overseas. This may be a positive for English football though as it will increase the chance of game time of homegrown talents in their native league. 

Reduction in foreign managers

It won’t just be the players that will be affected as the same work permit laws also apply to coaching staff. This means that teams in the league including the so called ‘Big six’, five of which currently have foreign managers, will find it harder to employ the top world managers if they wish to employ someone new. 

It remains to be seen what will happen with Brexit, will there be another referendum? What type of deal will we get? But what remains clear is that football and the Premier League will suffer the consequences regardless of the outcome.

This image by George Hodgan complies with the Public Domain License.

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