How does Brexit affect the Premier League, the clubs and the fans?

Shockwaves are still being felt all around the globe following the referendum last week where British people voted to leave the EU. Further shockwaves are being felt amongst England football supporters this morning following our 2nd exit from Europe in less than a week (at the hands of Iceland at the European Football Championships).

David Cameron has resigned, stock markets have been tumbling, the pound fell to its lowest value for decades – but the question that millions of people up and down the country are asking is:

"How does Brexit affect the Premier League, the clubs and the fans?"

A number of the questions which fans are asking include the following:

1. How does Brexit affect clubs signing the world's best players?

With Britain being part of the EU, players from EU countries can join clubs in Great Britain due to the freedom of movement that comes with being part of the EU.

Currently, working permit restrictions allow only top international players outside the EU an easy passage into playing in the Premier League. Brexit could mean that these tighter restrictions will now also apply to players based in the EU.

Alternatively, as players from the EU have an easy passage into the Premier League, it is thought that this comes at the price of heavy restrictions on visas for signings from non EU countries.

Once we leave the EU, it is thought that the UK will be able to treat footballers from all countries equally which will broaden the pool of talent for our teams – instead of reducing it.

 

  1. How does the fall in £ Sterling affect football?

The transfer price of buying a player from another country is normally denominated in the currency of the selling club. With a weakened pound, the price of transfer targets coming into the UK increases.

Alternatively, as the £ is weaker, exports become cheaper for countries purchasing players from clubs in the Premier League – so could this lead to more British players being bought by overseas clubs as the transfer values will have now decreased for overseas clubs?

 

  1. Effect on the Champions League or European Championships?

These competitions operate under the rules of UEFA which includes non EU countries such as Russia and Turkey.

The impact on the Champions League or European Championships as a result of Brexit is likely to be minimal.

However, it may mean that clubs or international sides may need to prepare and submit additional paperwork for clubs travelling to the EU when Britain is no longer a member.

 

  1. How are fans affected?

Currently, fans travelling to other EU countries for matches can travel fairly easily.

Once Britain leaves the EU, visas may be required for fans travelling to the likes of France, Spain or Germany – depending on how the remaining EU countries negotiate with Britain in relation to such events.

In addition, fans travelling to the EU may find the cost of such trips will become more expensive if the £ remains weak/weaker against the Euro.

 

Finally, HMRC has also issued a note as regards Brexit:

HMRC's helpline now includes a recorded message as follows: "There are no changes to any taxes, tax credits, child benefits or other HMRC services as a result of the vote on the EU referendum. Everything is continuing as normal. No laws have changed. There is no need to contact HMRC as a result of the EU referendum," the announcement says.

 

As the forthcoming weeks and months unfold, the impact of the EU exit on football, and many other matters, will start to become clearer.

 

Article written by Declan McCusker