Sunday, July 21, 2024

How Britain’s vote to leave the European Union will impact on EU players competing in EPL

Must read

THE votes are in and have been counted — Great Britain is leaving the European Union.

But what impact will Brexit have on English football and what are the wider ramifications?

Previously only non-EU footballers required a work visa based on the number of times they have played for their country to be able to compete in Premier League.

But now that’s all set to change.

The new ruling puts European players on the same footing as Australians, Asians, Africans and South Americans, who must satisfy authorities that they’re of a suitable calibre via the number of internationals played.

Some of the players who wouldn’t have qualified to play in England last season include key players from Leicester’s Premier League champions, such as NGolo Kante and Riyad Mahrez.

While West Ham’s star signing and one of the best players at Euro 2016, Dimitri Payet, would have also have been denied his move from France.

Dimitri Payet likely wouldn’t have been able to play West Ham under Brexit.Source: Getty Images

Going back further in Premier League history, icons like Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t have played enough times for France and Portugal respectively to move to England when they did.

Before the vote, top football figures such as David Beckham, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, his club’s defender Per Mertesacker and even Ireland rugby international Tommy Bowe all backed the ‘remain’ campaign.

Beckham even released a statement on Tuesday calling on England to stay in the EU.

“We live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong,” it said. “For our children and their children, we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone.”

While the Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Scudamore went as far as to pledge the support of all his member clubs to the “remain’ campaign.

However, some believe it will be a good thing for English football because it will mean more opportunities for homegrown talent, although the cost of signing them will undoubtedly go up.

Football agent Sky Andrew told ESPN. “Whatever new regulations are brought in following a British EU exit, one thing for sure is that top British players would become more expensive.

Likewise for Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.Source: AFP

“It could be as much as 40 per cent because the football market is all about demand; that’s what dictates transfer fees. There will be fewer European players for clubs to choose from as many may not meet the criteria to play in the Premier League.

“British players are already overpriced and this will only get worse because they will be in greater demand.”

Barry Silkman, a high-profile British agent, claimed that the impending Brexit vote had already had an impact, causing the current transfer market to stagnate.

“You usually get some big deals being negotiated around this time, which are never made public,” he said. “If Britain leaves the EU the cost of domestic players would increase and that’s led to a lot of uncertainty among agents because nobody is quite sure at the moment on the final value of a player.”

However, a contrasting point of view came from Dr Gregory Ioannidis, a sports law specialist at Sheffield Hallam University, who said any new regulations is unlikely to unduly impact the Premier League.

“The EU already recognises the special nature of sport and will probably accept a more flexible approach to the movement of European players,” Ioannidis said.

“It already has a number of specific agreements in place with non-EU states and I do not see why Britain would not be able to negotiate in similar fashion. Brexit will not necessarily be damaging for Premier League football.”

Meanwhile, Brexit and the resulting resignation of British PM David Cameron caused several British sports stars to take to social media.

Latest article