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What will Brexit mean for the Premier League?

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has come out in favour of Remain, but what are the real consequences of a Brexit?

Work Permits

With Britain voting to leave the EU, more than 100 players now fail to meet the current work permit criteria for non-EU players, and therefore do not automatically join other Premier League clubs.

Using the Home Office’s current rules, requiring players to have played in a certain number of their national team’s matches, players such as Dimitri Payet, N’Golo Kante and Anthony Martial - none of whom were established internationals when they joined the Premier League last summer - are exempt.


FA Work Permit Regulations | Requirements for international footballers to join the Premier League

  • A player from a FIFA ranked top-10 nation only has to have played in 30 percent of games in the two years prior to application to be granted a work permit
  • A player from a 11-20 nation must have played in 45 percent of international games
  • That rises to 60 percent for the next 10 countries, and 75 percent for countries ranked 31-50
  • Leaving the European Union would mean players from 27 countries still in the union would need to meet these criteria to qualify for an automatic work permit, unless other regulations were made.

Some EU players, such as Olivier Giroud, may still qualify under FA work permit regulations as they feature regularly in national games.

Dr Babatunde Buraimo, a senior lecturer in sports economics at the University of Liverpool, said before he vote that a Brexit could mean clubs will have to pay more to acquire players.

“Clubs will be limited to hiring higher calibre players from highly FIFA ranked EU countries,” he said.

“If the Premier League is limited to these players, this will increase the values, in terms of transfer fees and wages, of acquiring proven and established EU players. Missing out on rising talent [such as Kante] will be one of the drawbacks."

Many experts predicted work permit rules will be watered down, such as in non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland, in order to gain access to the single market.

Dr Gregory Ioannidis, a senior law lecturer from Sheffield Hallam University, said he did not envisage "any serious problems and complications" in the short-term, if Britain left the European Union, and that it was "highly unlikely" any restrictions would apply retrospectively, at least not in the first 2-3 years.

Dr Buraimo also does not anticipate a "big impact" on the Premier League.

"Rational politicians might relax the rules, and prioritise the single market,” he added. “The Premier League is one of the UK's biggest exports and it generates a significant amount of money - the net benefit to the UK shouldn't be underestimated.”

He added that politicians should consider work permits for players as a separate issue, as they are a "positive contribution" to the economy, adding:

"This is not part of problematic migration, these footballers are not the contentious issue. They earn lots of money but also pay their taxes, live in the UK and contribute to the economic surroundings."


Another factor is the FIFA Regulations the Status and Transfer of Players, which could affect young talent. Article 19 allows the “transfers of minors between the age of 16 and 18 within the EU or EEA”, but, outside of the EU, Britain could miss out on players such as Hector Bellerin, who joined Arsenal aged 16.

Similarly, membership of the EU also offers opportunities for players from farther afield. Many South American players, such as Brazil-born Diego Costa, have been able to claim European citizenship and move to the Premier League.

Brian Monteith of the campaign, however, argued that a Brexit would create more recruitment opportunities for clubs.

"The freedom of movement for people in the EU comes at the price of heavy restrictions on visas for potential signings from Africa, the Caribbean, South America and Asia," he told the BBC. "Once we leave the EU, the UK will be free to treat footballers from all countries equally, which will broaden the pool of talent for our teams, not reduce it."

Will free transfers still occur?

The Bosman Rule, where a player can leave his club for free at the end of his contract, for example Daniel Sturridge’s move to Chelsea, would not change as the rule is encapsulated under FIFA and domestic rules and not reliant on European law.

Broadcasting Revenue

Last year Richard Scudamore, chairman of the Premier League, said the UK should stay in Europe "from a business perspective", but opposed any creation of a single market for television rights.

He said, it was important to have "audiovisual ... territorialism" to safeguard the Premier League's revenue. Premier League television rights in the UK sold for £5.14bn last year and they have separate deals across Europe.

"Revenue is clearly tied to the quality of players that the Premier League is able to present to viewers on TV and in the stadium, that is why big broadcasters are paying billions,” Dr Buraimo said. "If those EU players weren't present, the value of the broadcast rights would be significantly diminished."

Withdrawal from the EU could take up to 10 years, and arguably countries like France and Germany could prolong negotiations, not wanting to encourage anti-EU opponents in their elections next year.

James McGrory, chief campaign spokesman for Britain Stronger In Europe, said:

“Voting to stay in the EU means the Premier League – and our football pyramid as a whole – can continue to thrive by attracting the best playing talent and producing some of the most thrilling football in the world.

“Richard Scudamore, the Executive Chairman, added his name to the long list of independent experts from all industries that believe Britain is better off in the EU.

“The future prosperity of our game at all levels is under threat if we leave the EU. And there is no going back on the decision if we vote to leave. Walking away is too big a risk to take.”


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se nego não der para tras, eu acho que isso não vai afetar só a premier league mas todas as ligas mais poderosas.

na espanha, italia e alemanha, os times médios e pequenos vendem muitos jogadores para a premier league com preços elevados, com a libra Mais fraca e restrições de estrangeiros, esses times perderiam receita e não teriam como pagar salarios altos e fazer investida

s mais fortes no mercado sulamericano.

eu acho isso pelo menos. 

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Ainda tem 2 anos para uma saída total do Reino Unido, mas terá muita negociação para definir a situação da Premier League. Acho que entrarão em algum meio termo nessa situação toda.

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