Brexit, barring any dramatic change in circumstance, will happen on March 29, 2019, and with it Great Britain will leave the European Union, but just how will this impact the Premier League?
It’s unclear as to just how Brexit will impact the day-to-day lives of everyday people, however politicians and sporting decision makers are feeling the pinch of anxiety that inevitably arrives with such an ill-prepared departure.
Football often appears to exist in a bubble away from the political climate of the rest of the world, yet not even football could escape the all-encompassing consequences of Great Britain’s departure from the EU.
The Guardian has published a detailed analysis on just what impact Brexit will have on British football, not least the Premier League, which has long stood as the most marketable league in European football.
Clubs in the English top-flight have long scoured the world for the most promising talents, yet one consequence of the political decision will be that there will be a reduction in the number of foreign players.
The English Football Association have proposed a policy which sets the maximum number of foreign players at 12, as opposed to the 17 that are currently permitted.
There is a desire to increase the number of English players in the Premier League, even though the national team enjoyed their most successful run in an international tournament since 1990 during the 2018 World Cup, which fell under the current foreign player regulations.
In 1992, 70 percent of players in the Premier League were homegrown, whilst in 2019 that figure has dropped right down to 33 percent.
Now, there are obvious concerns over players who are already playing in the league, but measures are in place to protect those who are in a similar position to Paul Pogba at Manchester United, who signed for the club at 16 years old.
Players won’t count as foreigners if they have played and been trained at a British club for at least three seasons prior to turning 21.
Those in charge of the Premier League are uneasy with such changes taking place, especially with the 2016/17 season accounts showing the league earned a revenue of 5 billion euros.
Brexit would make signing foreign players more difficult, and this in turn decreases the value of the league.
For example, the interest in Tottenham Hotspur in South Korea would likely decrease if Son Heung-min wasn’t at the club, and this would then lessen the television demand in that region.
With it not yet been made clear if teams will be forced to sell players who do not fit into the new squad size rules, the January transfer market saw clubs unwilling to spend large sums of money on players that may have a short shelf life in the Premier League.