While seemingly endless talks between the government and Brussels continue rapidly around Brexit, the headlines revolve around some key parts of the negotiations. Does the United Kingdom remain in a “Customs Union”? The problem of the “hard border” around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland or a “Brexit without agreement”.
Have you ever heard or heard about the potential impact of Brexit on sport and especially on football, the most popular sport in the United Kingdom?
Probably not much, but it has been discussed.
Football represents around 12 billion pounds of revenue for the UK Treasury, not to mention its cultural and health impact on British society. The Football Association, the Premier League and the EFL talk about it and the discussions continue with the government through the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports.
One of the key elements of the EU Member State is the “free movement of workers between member countries” enshrined in its constitution. This has allowed professional football players across the EU to do their job for anyone.
Gianfranco Zola, Marcel Desailly, Eric Cantona, Jurgen Klinsmann, Thierry Henry, and Dennis Bergkamp are some of the many European citizens who have played in the Premier League for the past 25 years. So, the Brexit threatens the ability of the UK to attract the best players in the future and the prestige of the Premier League?
Five months after the date when the United Kingdom left the EU, no politician, official, administrator or bureaucrat will answer this question directly.
But Sky Sports News has learned that no matter what “Brexit” UK is finally going with the EU, the end of the professional match will not be greatly affected.
Paul Shapiro, a lawyer specializing in high-level sports, said: “The process is ongoing between the government and those interested in football.
“I do not think they (the government) establish a regime that prevents the Premier League clubs from signing the biggest international stars, nor their interest in jeopardizing the Premier League position as the best. I do not think the fans have anything that to fear or fear. “
In the United Kingdom, a number of industries such as medicine, finance, and aviation have pressured the government to obtain a “special status” after Brexit, whose principle is protection against any negative impact of Brexit. Could the football industry advocate for a special status?
Deputy Tracey Crouch, Minister of Sports, admitted that it would be unlikely.
She told Sky Sports News: “It is not considered a unique or special situation.” Sport is not one of the most affected issues.
“However, football provides a great boost to the treasury and generates many taxes.
“We recognize that football has a big impact on revenue, but also on a local level, and we use football and sports as a way to solve many problems and we must not forget that.
“Ultimately, this is a problem for the football authorities and for my colleagues in the Central Office: it is not considered (football) as a unique or special situation, the skills required and football as well, not only football, There are many sports stars around the world. “
In response to the 2016 vote of abandonment, the Premier League said: “The Premier League is an extremely successful sporting competition that has strong national and global appeal.
According to Shapiro, the transfer slot must remain after the Brexit with the great and good Europeans, who will continue to be attracted by the enormous power of attraction of the Premier League and the EFL.
However, one of the areas of change for the clubs could be the signing of those under 18 years of age from other EU nations.
Currently, all EU countries and those joining the EEA (European Economic Area) are exempt from a FIFA rule prohibiting the transfer of children under 18 years of age. In Brexit, the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish clubs will lose this exemption unless the Westminster government becomes a member of the EEA or signs a bilateral agreement with the EU on the free movement of workers.
Premier League clubs are subject to rules that require eight out of every 25 players to be “local.” The acquisition of talents of players like Cesc Fábregas and Paul Pogba by Arsenal and Manchester United respectively when they were young made them classified in the category of “local” players.
After Brexit, the Ministry of the Interior could use a system similar to the one applied to third-country nationals for work permits or visas. It is a point-based system. Once a player has been approved by the governing bodies (GBE), the FIFA world rankings apply to a country for a period of two years and a player must have played a minimum percentage of their matches during this period. The higher the rank of FIFA in the country, the less qualified the player must be to receive a work permit in the United Kingdom.
For players who do not meet the criteria, there is a review process and the players have been employed by the Premier League.
Although the players are not clearly defined on the “right to work” after Brexit, sources close to the government said that the prime minister, Theresa May, was not in favor of any points system for the workers. The EU or the EEA.
The details of the Brexit are not yet clear, however, the government recognizes the economic and social impact of soccer through grassroots football, suggesting that the post-Brexit outlook will be very similar to today.