What Does Brexit Mean For Premier League Clubs?

  • 24th June 2016
Premier League

As the dust settles after the EU referendum, one small concern some Premier League fans may be thinking is, ‘What does this mean for my club?’ There are a few changes that will occur, but leaving the EU is a long process that could take up to 10 years to fully implement, and if a deal is struck in that time with the EU regarding freedom of movement, then there may well be no change seen.

What Does Brexit Mean For Premier League Clubs?

Short Term

As we’ve seen this morning, the price of the pound has plummeted to its lowest level in decades. Yesterday, 1 British Pound (GBP) would have gotten you 1.31 Euro (€), while currently it will only get you 1.24 Euro. Now this doesn’t sound like much, but to a Premier League club that deal in buying out multi-million Euro contracts, they will have to stump up more GBP.

This means that when Aymeric Laporte renewed his contract at Athletic Bilbao earlier in the month, the price to buy out his contract would have been £51 million; today it would cost £52 million. Matching a €100,000 a-week contract yesterday would have cost £76,335, whereas today a club would have to offer £80,563 in order to match it.

Now the pound should eventually stabilise and rise again, but will it do it during this season’s transfer window? Who knows, but its no wonder that all the heads of each Premier League team advocated staying in the EU.

Long Term

IF, (and it’s a big if seeing as most of the leave campaign are lobbying for tariff free trading with the EU), we don’t agree to freedom of movement within an EU deal, Premier League clubs will have to apply for work permits for European players. Is this a big issue for premier league clubs?

Not really, in the case of this happening, it’s hard not to think that the Home Office, (the body that grants work permits), wouldn’t work alongside the FA to ensure that Premier League clubs could still sign the biggest and best talent possible. Even if no changes were made, surely we would see more FA Governing Body Endorsement’s (GBA), the likes of which allowed Chelsea to sign Kennedy last summer when he initially failed to qualify for a work permit.

One major change that may be seen is the accessibility Premier League clubs has to young, under-18 foreign talents. Players under the age of 18 are defined as minors, and are only able to be transferred under 3 rules, one of which is being purchased by a club within the EU between the ages of 16-18. Had Brexit happened 5 years ago, Manchester United would have been unable to sign Adnan Januzaj, had it happened 15 years ago Arsenal would have been unable to sign Cesc Fàbregas.

The positive of this would be the development of English talent, with U21 teams filled full of English players. This would surely resonate into better results for the national team, especially if the FA use it as an incentive to develop grass foots football properly.

Finally, Brexit potentially allows the FA to implement a limitation to foreign players in a starting XI, in order to give English players a greater chance. However, with the power the Premier League possesses, this is highly unlikely.

When it is all said and done, Brexit will not have much effect, if any, on the Premier League, as even before it I think we all expected teams to be spending huge money after the new TV deal and the failings of the big clubs last season. It could potentially have a positive effect on grassroots football, and the chances young English players will get. However, unless the FA finally get their act together and sort out the issues from within, don’t expect us to be producing the next Lionel Messi simply off the back of a referendum.