Premier League eyes Brexit exemption to avoid talent drain
Will the UK be at the back of the queue for the best players?
The Premier League is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of Brexit on the competition’s global appeal, the Telegraph reports.
With the deadline for the UK’s exit from the European Union set for March 2019, senior officials are worried about a lack of clarity on several major issues.
These include clubs’ freedom to sign European players without new work permit requirements, and whether homegrown quotas will be extended after Brexit comes into force.
According to the Telegraph, the Premier League has held talks with the government and the FA, asking that football be made ‘an exception to any new rules that limit the access of European workers after Brexit, allowing clubs to sign any players they wish over the age of 18.’
While the Premier League waits to find out whether it will be afforded any special dispensation, it hopes that generating over £3bn in tax each year and employing 12,000 people will help mount a convincing case.
It could also put the government in a difficult position, however, with other industries likely to seek similar privileges.
The Premier League’s main fears centre around the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. It has been estimated that around 25% of players in the top flight would not be eligible for work permits in such a scenario, with the likes of Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, Jorginho, Álvaro Morata, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez all facing an uncertain future.
“Like many other organisations dependent on a combination of domestic and international talent, we are waiting to better understand what the political and regulatory landscape will be after the UK leaves the European Union,” the Telegraph quote a Premier League spokesperson as saying.
“Access to talented footballers from across Europe has played a key part in the growth of the Premier League. It is vital that our clubs can continue to acquire European players with the freedom they currently enjoy.”