On Thursday the 23rd of June by virtue of a referendum Britain decided that it was time to leave the European constituency. Over 30 million people voted and the motion to leave the EU won by 51.9% to 48.1 %.
David Cameron the then Prime Minister predicted that an immediate economic catastrophe awaited Britain if it decided to leave the EU. On the 24th of June the pound took a serious hit and depreciated by 15% against the dollar and 10% against the Euro. Apart from having several impactful economical and other major changes what really fascinated the footballing world was the dilemma the Premier League would find itself in.
The value of the UK pound plummeted to an all-time low in the aftermath of the BREXIT referendum, which meant that the British teams had to pay a much higher amount for signing players than the asking price of the foreign league teams or even other European teams.
The Premier League’s newly signed TV and other commercial deals will also be significantly influenced. Any foreign Investor or deals with foreign media houses for television rights would mean that the investor saves up a lot on those deals which can further inflict injuries to the health of the Premier League.
The exclusion of Britain from the EU would now mean that signings like N’golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez would dry up. Talented youngsters would no longer be a substance of abundance in the Premier League . The Premier League would not allow players who have not yet proven themselves and have not yet made a fixed percentage of appearances for their national team. Dr Babatunde Buraimo, a senior lecturer in sports economics from the university of Liverpool said, “Clubs will be limited to hiring higher caliber players from highly FIFA ranked EU countries”. This in turn could drive the bargaining price up in the transfer fees. Players in a FIFA ranked top-10 nation need to have played 30 percent of all games of his country in the last two years to be declared eligible for the Premier League. Those who are in teams from 11-20 need to play 45 percent of their national team’s matches- Anthony Martial could not have secured a transfer to Manchester United if this rule had been at work.
Article 19 of FIFA regulations allows the “transfer of minors between the age of 16 and 18 within the EU or EEA” but now that BREXIT has happened, Britain looks all set to miss out on Raw talents. Arsenal snapped up Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin at very young ages from the fabled “La Masia” of Barcelona. The latter was at a tender age of 16 when he was signed by Arsenal, had BREXIT been in place at that time – this particular transfer would have never taken place.
Star players might be left unsatisfied from the wages they earn in pounds, since the value of the pound has “nose-dived” to a new low. It is rumored that the Arsenal duo of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil has asked for higher wages for signing new contracts at the club. This contract situation has been drawing out for more than a year and is a nuisance for a huge club like Arsenal who aim for the English crown and European glory.
The Premier League in a response to all the hue and cry that its profits would be impacted by the British referendum said that the Premier League is one of the best football leagues in the world and has one of the highest face values. It is too big a brand to be brought to its knees by BREXIT. They also reiterated their support for whatever the government had in mind in order to nullify the percussions that BREXIT would have on economy.
Some English players like “Arsenal Invincible” Sol Campbell feel that BREXIT would be a humongous step for the development of young and domestic talent. However what Sol Campbell fails to recognize is that his former club Arsenal would not have been able to sign players like Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas both of them who were La Masia products and came over at an early age. Also the fact that there is hardly any exceptional English talent out there in the world waiting to be tapped . The presence of foreign players in the English Premier League makes it all the more interesting and fascinating to watch. It is a coming together for all cultures.
Several sports experts and journalists feel that the government will be lenient and would make way for exceptions while keeping in mind the delicate requirements of the footballing world especially the domestic league in mind. However only time and tide can ascertain as to what awaits for the Premier League in the future.