How Does Brexit affect the Premier League?

After the news that a majority have voted for Britain to leave the EU, there is going to be a substantial amount of change to British life.  But one part of Britain that some might forget is going to be severely damaged, The Barclays Premier League.

So what is new?  As of this moment players in the Premier League from countries inside the European Union can play in Britain without the need of a work permit, but due to Brexit, this will no longer be allowed.  Players will have to apply for a work permit before being allowed to play in Britain, something that might not be too much of an issue for proven players, but future talents and young stars would likely be denied a permit. Players such as Anthony Martial, N’golo Kante and Memphis Depay would have likely joined other European clubs to avoid the need of a work permit.  Although these effects will not be seen for a few years, the changes are likely to re-shape the modern British game.  For a player to receive a work permit, they must meet the following:

  • A player from a FIFA ranked Top 10 nation has to have played in 30% of all games in the two years prior to the application to be granted a work permit.
  • A player from a Top 11 to 20 nation must have played in 45% of international games in the past to years.
  • It then rises to 60% for the Top 21 to 30, and 75% for all countries ranked Top 31 to 50.

Last season alone 432 players registered to play in the Premier League from European countries.  Although these players will not be forced to leave the country, they will not have the right to play, and live, in the UK without apply and successfully receiving a work permit.

The question now is, how is this going to impact on the future of the Premier League?  Many big talents may find a Premier League move unattractive, and chose to move to a club inside the EU to make sure their move goes through before the end of the transfer window.  Clubs in the Premier League will ultimately suffer, newly promoted teams will find it hard to sign cheap and talented players from mainland Europe.  But the biggest loss involves youth signings.  When Britain leaves the EU, Premier League clubs will possibly no longer be able to sign players from outside of Britain, who are under the age of 18.  Meaning that the door is open for other European giants to snatch them up.

After all these negatives, there is an upside.  Since clubs will find it much more difficult to attract top European talent.  Clubs may start looking intensely at British-only players.  Could we see a team like Manchester City line-up with an almost all British team?  Right now, we don’t know how Britain will agree their terms to leave the EU, but we can expect an uncertain future in British football.

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