The Brexit effect on the EPL?

Drew Down Under

Sounder-down-Under is a look at the beautiful game from the other side of the world, written by Seattle ex-pat Drew Dickson.

As the world tries to get its head around the idea of what the Brexit means to economic agreements and potential repercussions from an non-united Europe, the English Premier League is going to also see a flood of potential changes.


With a lower £ to … well, take your pick of global currency, it is going to be a lot easier for foreign investors to buy large stakes of clubs, if not outright ownership. It might come to a point in time where TV commentators and radio announcers have to refer to the grounds by their original name because they will all be called the “Emirates Stadium”.

Transfer fees

You thought you were losing money getting your money back into US Dollars after a trip was bad! Echoing off the previous point, imagine the lose clubs in England will now face as they buy players from the Continent BUT just think of how much they will get for selling players!

Not in the EU? No special work rights for EU players!

This might be the biggest thing to impact the league. Short of a player who is from the United Kingdom (united for how long?), work rights are an issue. While there are relatively few English players who play on the Continent, many European clubs do have a restriction on non-EU players. With the Brexit, it means that EPL teams are now faced with the fact that what was one a simple agreement will now subject the player to the same battery of tests that players from South America faced, despite being from the same continent.  I suspect we will see a stockpile of European players by clubs this year before all the Chunnel closes, so to speak.

ironic flags

Oh, the irony.


Show me the money! While the prestige associated with playing in the ELP will remain for a long time, if not forever, how much a player could make will affect decisions in the future. We all look at how much a new job pays before we apply. How tough will the decision be for young players who come from struggling families to choose between an EPL side and being paid more in comparison to play in France, Italy, or Germany? You cannot fault a kid from wanting to get the best for his parents.

Chanting from the opposition fans

England loses a game, expect a chant of “Brexit” to come from the winning team’s fan base. It writes itself.

The women’s game

While the state of men’s football is a near constant focal point, what might suffer more is the state of the women’s game in England. While fans will support every aspect of their team, smaller clubs that play in the FA’s Premier League National Division rely on dynamic players to bring in crowds. Restrictions on players means a heavy reliance on the club itself to produce younger players.





There are some benefits to this. For American players, they are now on par when it comes to the hoops that a European National faces to play in the EPL. That means it is not as convenient to pluck someone from Holland or Austria and it will hopefully mean that players are selected more so on their skill set. Selfishly, for Americans, this is the best thing we can get. While we do boast a large contingent of foreign based players, to continue to compete with the best, we need to play side by side with them and against them. We need to have players who are consistently playing in Champions League matches in their respective continents as well as in clubs that are on the top half of their standings. Brexit means we will have the chance to vie for spots on equal footing to Europeans in the EPL.

What might be even more interesting is we will also see a bigger rise in the Academy system at EPL clubs. While these have always been a picking ground, the near free trade between EU members has meant more of a focus on a club’s war chest then its youngsters. The downside to this will be that with an full-fledged exit in two years from everything EU, that is a short time to get your academy system going. It has been a while since you saw an entire youth squad make their way through every stage to a senior debut.

What will we see next? Should we now expect Scotland’s #Scotfree? Northern Ireland’s #NorthernOurLand or Wales #Welseeyoulater?


About Author

Comments are closed.