How could the Brexit decision impact Football….?

June 23rd 2016

Some say it’s our new independence day, a day when we break free from the European Union and their rules. Don’t worry this is not an article on Brexit.  I wanted to take a step back and just think how could the Brexit decision impact football….

It has been covered quite a bit in the news but one interesting fact is highlighted very easily. Chelsea and Arsenal target Alvaro Morata. The Real Madrid star has reportedly been the subject of a £60million bid from Chelsea. That fee would now rise to £67m due to the decrease in the value of the pound.

Also, when we buy someone from Europe because we won’t be in the European Union, it would now mean that theoretically players from outside the UK would have to apply for a work permit. Just like we currently do when we buy players from outside the EU.

So what are the work permit laws?

A revision took place in March 2015 by the FA, it’s a simple sliding scale based upon FIFA rankings of the players nation and the percentage of games he must play to gain the work permit.

  • FIFA 1-10: 30% and above
  • FIFA 11-20: 45% and above
  • FIFA 21-30: 60% and above
  • FIFA 31-50: 75% and above

e.g a non-EU player from a nation ranked inside FIFA’s top 10 has to have played at least 30% of international games in the two years prior to applying for a work permit.
The lower ranked his national team, the higher percentage of games he has to play.

The down side to this law is that we wouldn’t have seen footballers like Dimitri Payet and N’Golo Kante. Both moved last summer and had sensational seasons were only allowed to play in the UK because of their EU passport. So now we won’t be in the EU what will happen?

Rather interestingly, last season there were 432 EU players registered in the Premier League. Whilst they’ll still be here next season it’s believed any new players from Europe will have to apply for a work permit.

BBC article: EU referendum: Brexit could have ‘big effect’ on football

In this article on BBC Sport it details there being about a 100 players in the Premier League who actually don’t meet the current work permit guidelines!!

Norway and Switzerland are both non-EU countries and work permit laws are actually relaxed so they aren’t impacted.
To be honest I can’t see this happening as one of the things that attracted voters to Brexit was tighter borders making it harder for Non-UK people getting local jobs.

How can it affect Liverpool….?

Moneyball is massive with FSG, with varied success. The ability to acquire a youngster, have talented coaches who can develop them into world class players in the hope to win trophies. Then sell them on at a massive profit when they hit their peak….then the cycle starts again.
However as detailed in The Echo, we would have been denied the chance to pick up exciting talents such as Sergi Canos, Pedro Chirivella, or Suso…. Whilst the 3 examples of Liverpool players aren’t exactly world beaters, it does potentially prevent Klopp from tapping into the great 16-18 German market, bringing the across to Melwood for support to develop.

Benitiz did this at Liverpool. Their academy was seen as one of the best in the world – second to Barcelona. Sadly after he left no one successfully came through.

This is because youth players are allowed to move freely within the EU when aged 16-18. Under FIFA rules, no players can cross borders under the age of the 18.
Can you imagine a Premier League without the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both joined Arsenal and Manchester United at a tender age.

How do we adapt and move on….who are the winners?

It does however make more time and resources available to tap into the local market. Everton over the past few years have really tapped into getting the local Liverpool players.  You can really sense that due to finances it has been a priority rather than scouting abroad. Ross Barkley, Ryan Ledson and Kieran Dowell have come through the youth system.

Let’s not forget the good purchases of John Stones (Barnsley) and Brendan Galloway (MK Dons).

These are potentially all the players that we should and could be looking at in the future.

With all the Premier League clubs chasing these home grown stars will we see any benefits on the international stage? Or will they be purchased a physically stored in the U23 system?

Another thing to factor in is the Bosman Ruling….

Allowing players from within the EU to move between clubs based in Europe without any transfer fees when out of contract.

How will this change?

Will it…? A Premier League spokesman has come out and said they won’t be making any rash decisions, they haven’t set any time scales. They plan on working with the EU to determine what changes to implement.

Do you think anything will change?
What rules do you feel they should implementation?


  1. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic blog!

  2. Very good written post. It will be helpful to anyone who employess it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – can’t wait to read more posts.

    • Many thanks for the comments.
      Please feel free to register for the free newsletters.
      Look forward to hearing from you again soon.

  3. Really liked the article.
    Quite a few really interesting points raised.

    I am hoping it’s not going to affect the Premier League as much as we all think.

    I am sure the FA will find a way round it all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.