How Brexit will Impact English Football

On the 23rd of June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union. The voter split was 51.89% to leave and 49.11% to remain. David Cameron, who was a ‘Remain’ campaigner, is to resign. This idea of withdrawal from the European Union, termed as ‘Brexit’, was created by Conservative Party right-wingers like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, as a policy to control immigration and create more jobs for the British people. Well, in my opinion, Brexit is a big mistake, evident from the fact that now millions of British people are googling the EU, after voting to leave it.

I predict that Brexit will impact English football negatively. The main issue is the transfer market. Also, the quality of the Premier League will decline. Here are the ways English football will be impacted by Brexit:

  • Premier League clubs will have to pay more money in transfers.

The sterling will be devalued after the withdrawal. Thus, English clubs will have to hike their transfer fees. For example, if Club A wants to buy player X, they will have to pay a larger amount to X’s club then they had to do before.

  • Players will be more reluctant to join English clubs.

Because of the value drop of the sterling, the wage gap between England and the rest of Europe will be smaller. The relatively higher wage used to be the main attraction of the Premier League. Also, the League isn’t at all relaxed – English football is more intense and has more matches than most other leagues – so player X would rather join a club in Spain, Italy or Germany.

  • Premier League clubs can’t sign certain players.

The issue of work permits. Under the EU, a club can sign any player from any country in the EU. Brexit states that players can only be signed from the rest of the world if they have played a significant number of internationals. This means that it would have been hard for Leicester City and West Ham United to sign (the now French internationals) Ngolo Kante and Dimitry Payet if they had attempted to sign them now.

There is also a rule under FIFA (Article 19) that states that players under the age of 18 can’t be signed by a club in a different country. This law is neutralized for countries under the EU. For example, if player X is 17, a French club can sign him from Germany. This cancellation helped English clubs (usually Arsenal) sign brilliant youngsters, like Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Hector Bellerin, Adnan Januzaj and Cristiano Ronaldo. Since this rule also applies for youth academies, it means that many, many foreign sensations will be missed by English clubs.

  • The impact on the English national team.

Brexit is a highly anti-immigrant move. The biggest concern for the national team is that the population in England isn’t very high. A low population means a smaller talent pool. If the UK welcomed immigrants, their population would increase. Opening its arms to immigrants is the main reason France and Germany win. England would miss out on great immigrant players like Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Pires, Patrice Evra, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka , Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Jerome Boateng. England would certainly love to have these players, wouldn’t they?

The Only Thing that looks Like a Pro (not for the Premier League)

With all the transfer limitations, Premier League clubs will have to start homegrowing talent and buy Englishmen. That means more Gerrards and Beckhams, but the quality of the League will certainly decline. Its specialty is that it gathers the best players and the best managers of the world, combined with money, to make a super league. Many fans would love more Englishmen in the Premier League, but will they love the League anymore if it isn’t as exciting and doesn’t have the best of the football world?



    • You can’t really expect that much from England (please read Why England Lose by Stefan Szymanski and Simon Kuper). Here’s what The Guardian said about this:
      “For the second time in a week, England suffer an ignominious exit from Europe.” The last time England won a knockout match was in the World Cup of 2006.


  1. Thanks, MC Narayanan. About the point of immigration: it is in fact not simple for a person of one nationality to switch teams and play for another nation. According to FIFA rules, they must acquire the new nationality and the governing body does not make it easy to form and switch associations at will. For instance, Article 17 states that to play in a national team a player must have “lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant Association” ( So it’s important for a nation to have a large enough pool of players, whether immigrants or natives, within its borders. An anti-immigrant stance is likely to negatively impact the size of this pool. Please keep the comments coming!

    Liked by 1 person

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