Many of us will be interested to know how Britain exiting the European Union will affect Liverpool FC. At the moment there is much uncertainty but I’ve looked around for information on the most likely outcomes and these articles by the BBC and This Is Anfield seem to display a pretty balanced opinion:
The BBC’s View:
British football clubs could find it more difficult to buy summer targets after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, an expert has warned.
Transfer fees and wages may rise, said Simon Chadwick, professor of sports enterprise at Salford University.
“Clubs could suddenly find players are much more expensive because the pound is worth less,” he told BBC Sport.
Football Association chairman Greg **** said the decision could have “quite an impact on English football”.
He said the full impact of leaving the EU might not be known for two years.
“It would be a shame if some of the great European players can’t come here but I don’t think that will happen. Whether the total number reduces will depend on the terms of the exit,” he said.
“My personal view has always been that the decline in the number of English players in Premier League first teams – we’re down to about 30% now – is a shame. If it increases the number of English players, that is to be welcomed. But you don’t want to lose the best European players coming here.”
How might Brexit affect football?
Players’ wages, the staging of big events and the Premier League brand could all be affected, according to Chadwick.
“Our sport for several decades has been underpinned by European Union legislation. We are going to have to think about new rules and new ways of doing things through a period of uncertainty and I think incredible instability, and that could last anything up to five, possibly 10 years.” he said.
“The most immediate impact in the short term will be upon this transfer window. What we’ve seen over the last few hours is the pound plummeting in value by as much as 10% at certain stages.”
Players could be more reluctant to move to clubs in the UK if the value of their potential salaries has fallen, added Chadwick.
However, the Premier League said it would continue to be a “hugely successful sporting competition that has strong domestic and global appeal” regardless of the referendum result.
“Given the uncertain nature of what the political and regulatory landscape might be following the ‘Leave’ vote, there is little point second guessing the implications until there is greater clarity,” a spokesman said.
“Clearly, we will continue to work with Government and other bodies whatever the outcome of any process.”
What about work permits?
Some Leave campaigners argued that a post-Brexit UK could lower freedom-of-movement restrictions on the rest of the world.
Analysis carried out by the BBC in March of squads in the first two tiers in England and the Scottish Premiership revealed 332 players would fail to meet the current standards.
Scottish club Hamilton Academical admitted it may have to change its recruitment policy, with manager Martin Canning indicating seven or eight of his squad could be affected.
However, the rules could be watered down to make it easier for non-EU players to come to the UK – as is the case with Norway and Switzerland.
“The work the BBC did earlier in the year identified players like N’Golo Kante at Leicester, who would currently fail work permit regulations,” said Chadwick.
“There will need to be a process of negotiation and this may take a year, two years, who knows, before we get to a system of how we will deal with overseas players.
“The summer of transfer activity that we are used to, the kind of rumours of big signings, we should expect a period of restrained activity until the players, the agents, their clubs, the Premier League, and everyone involved in football, are sure about what’s going to happen.”
He said there could also be implications for Euro 2020, with the semi-finals and finals due to be played at Wembley in London and potentially involving European Union nations.
“Here are two sets of foreign workers who come to this country to ply their trade and they are going to be awarded prize money. Because they are not British citizens, what kind of tax arrangements will be put in place for these players?” added Chadwick.
This Is Anfield’s view:
In an event that has reverberated across Europe and around the world, those who voted to leave the EU pipped those who opted to remain by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, with the result confirmed on Friday morning.
The decision will have a huge impact on various aspects of British public life, with sport one of those set to be affected.
The freedom of movement principle has allowed sportsmen and sportswomen from the EU to compete in the UK without the need for a work permit, unlike non-EU citizens.
Using the Home Office’s current ruling as an example, which demands non-EU players must have represented their country in a certain percentage of matches, over 100 Premier League players would have failed to be granted a work permit, had the UK not been part of the EU.
While the likes of Dimitri Payet, N’Golo Kante and Anthony Martial all fall into this category, Liverpool would also have been affected.
Philippe Coutinho was able to avoid the Home Office’s aforementioned ruling, having gaiend European citizenship prior to his move to Anfield in 2013.
A report in the Telegraph names eight more players – Emre Can, Alberto Moreno, Jose Enrique, Adam Bogdan, Simon Mignolet, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori – as players in the current squad who would not automatically qualify for permits.
Once Britain is no longer in the EU – which will take at least two years – it would not be possible for Liverpool to acquire the services of such players.
19-year-old Allan Rodrigues is heading out on loan to Europe again next season, in order to gain a work permit, and while that shouldn’t be an issue for the Brazilian, he will end up being one of the lucky ones in terms of timing.
English clubs’ chances of signing young players in general will be seriously affected, with the current ruling that clubs inside the EU are able to buy players aged 16 or over.
That will change once the UK is no longer in the EU, with only players aged 18 or over being able to be acquired, which will give European competitors an advantage over English sides.
That will likely then see English clubs having to pay a premium on such players once they are eligible to play in England, and clubs won’t be able to sign up young talents and sell them on for profit.
This huge breaking story has the potential to change British sport in a big way.
For the city of Liverpool – which was crowned the European Capital of Culture in 2008 and has benefited from millions upon millions of EU money being invested — the repercussions could be far more significant.
The biggest problem I can see for Liverpool FC in the short-term, especially in the current transfer window, is that the plummetting value of the pound may well deter players from within the EU joining the club as their wages will be worth less. Also, it could mean Liverpool having to pay higher transfer fees to clubs to attain their targets as, again, the value of the pound is lower. The knock-on effect of this could be Liverpool buying more players from Britain, Liverpool retaining players it planned to sell, or Liverpool bringing more academy players into the first team squad.