Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner has led calls to “protect the integrity” of the Premier League over possible restrictions on signings after Brexit.
After the end of Janaury, the UK have effectively stopped being a member of the European Union—with a ‘transition period’ from now until 2021—following a long and painful process fuelled by the Tories.
A referendum in 2016 saw 52 percent of voters back the campaign to leave the EU, and despite such a small majority, this is the end result for the UK.
Leaving the EU will have massive ramifications on trade and free movement, and this could include those moving into the UK as signings of Premier League clubs.
Though insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it is naturally a big concern for those in charge of those clubs, including Werner, who attended a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.
Speaking after the meeting—which saw the ‘big six’ prompt a vote to restore the traditional end-of-August transfer deadline—the Reds co-owner and chairman highlighted the current “status quo” as benefiting the UK.
“[Government] should probably spend a bit of time elsewhere and protect the integrity and the quality of the league,” he said.
“As far as we’re concerned, the Premier League is not just the strongest league in the world. It’s a great export for the UK.
“So, whatever changes and considerations the government is making, hopefully they can take into account that the league itself should be protected.
“And [that it] will continue to display what, I think everyone would agree, are the greatest players in the world and the greatest teams in the world.”
Premier League clubs are currently in talks with the FA regarding, according to the Telegraph, a “global free market with permits given to any player who has a contract with a top-flight club.”
However, it is explained that “the FA will only support that if the minimum of homegrown players in a first-team squad is raised from eight to 12.”
The FA are eager to increase the homegrown quota in order to further support English players, with this dichotomy one of many which show the problems the UK will face post-Brexit.
Given the financial pull of the Premier League, it seems likely they will be able to continue signing players freely, though there could be further difficulties in bringing in under-18 talents from abroad.
The Times reported at the end of January that FIFA rules would deny players under the age of 18 to join the English top flight from clubs inside of the EU, as well as both Scotland and Northern Ireland.