Great Britain's verdict to leave the European Union on Friday has given rise to major implications for global economy and politics, of course. The referendum has also brought up major discussions regarding the future of the English Premier League football — will it be affected and if so, by what intensity?
From David Beckham to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the Premier League's Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, the bigwigs of the game had urged the British to stay on in the European Union. However, everything changes now, bringing up a lot of speculations about what happens next.
Will the star players plying their trade in the EPL, including Dimitri Payet — who has been one of the most influential players for France in the Euro 2016 — as well as N'Golo Kante and Anthony Martial be affected with the recent development?
Under the current terms that could be implemented owing to the Brexit referendum, more than 100 Premier League players without an EU passport would be affected, with English sides Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Watford facing losing 11 players from their squads, reports the BBC. Missing out on rising talents, such as Kante, also becomes one of the drawbacks.
Strict rules for signing non-British players: The likes of Payet, Kante and Martial would have faced major hindrances to make it to the Premier League last season if the referendum had come a season back. The France internationals would not have qualified for a work permit last summer as the Home Office's current criteria for players, following the latest referendum, requires players to have played in a certain percentage of their national team's matches to make it to the EPL.
The BBC report has mentioned how the 'Brexit' referendum could curb the number of non-EU players playing in the English league. Only a player from a top-10 nation, having played at least 30 percent of the games with their national team in the two years prior to the date of application, will be granted a work permit, according to the 'Brexit' rules.
Similarly, a player plying his trade with a football nation, ranked between 11-20 by FIFA, would have to appear in 45 percent of international games to get the work permit. The percentage rises to 60 percent for the next 10 countries and 75 percent thereafter.
Shelling out more on player transfers: Apart from the recent scenario of hiring only high-calibre players from established FIFA nations in Europe, the move also increases the rates of player transfers. Leading British football agents have claimed to the ESPN that the rates of home-grown English players like Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane or Delle Ali would increase by 40 percent, once the regulations come into effect.
"Whatever new regulations are brought in following a British EU exit, one thing for sure is that top British players would become more expensive," football agent Sky Andrew said. "It could be as much as 40 percent because the football market is all about demand; that's what dictates transfer fees. There will be fewer European players for clubs to choose from as many may not meet the criteria to play in the Premier League.
"British players are already over-priced and this will only get worse because they will be in greater demand."
More quota for English players in the EPL: The Brexit referendum could also come as a blessing in disguise for the England national football team. The English FA have for long, contemplated introducing a quota system in its leagues, where more home-grown players are given a chance to perform at the highest level.
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter had come up with the 'six-plus-five' principle, which would limit a team's foreign players to five, back in 2008. It now remains to be seen whether the U.K. government would implement these guidelines with an immediate effect.
"Whether they [the FA] will be able to put that [quota principle] in place in the Premier League is probably unlikely but there is no reason why post Brexit they could not put nationality restrictions in say the FA Cup," Daniel Geey, a partner at sports law firm Sheridans, told the Telegraph.
Manchester City, for one, have most of their star players, like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan, hailing from outside Britain.