Why Brexit Could Mean BigSixit For Football !
Friday, 22nd Mar 2019 10:07
There has been speculation about how Brexit could affect the English game, the worrying thing is that it could actually make the Big Six clubs stronger and the rest of us far weaker, read of for why !
When there is an issue in football the Football Association has a tried and tested way of dealing with things and that usually seems to be sit back and do nothing and that seems to be the case at the moment in terms of how Brexit could affect football in this country.
In fairness to the FA it could be said that it actually does not need to change anything, there are clear rules in place with regard to signing foreign players and the criteria for those who at the moment are classed as non EU players to get a work permit is agreed with the home office.
In simple terms at present as we are in the EU all players from countries who are also members have freedom of movement so are able to play in this country freely, those who are not from the EU however have to satisfy the criteria laid down which is in simple terms judged by the number of appearances they have made for their country at full international level.
If they fail to satisfy this qualification then they are automatically refused a permit initially although the club can then appeal and put forward why they feel the player should be registered and this is then decided on other criteria than International caps alone.
I won't bore you with the full details, but you can view how these things are worked out using the link below
So when we come out of the EU why will this mean that the BIG clubs will get bigger and the rest of us suffer ?
The answer is that it could well stem the tide of players that play for Premier League clubs from the EU to a drastic level as suddenly they will have to all meet the above criteria for a work permit.
Now this won't affect the Big Six, they are paying big money for players who will satisfy the international criteria for a work permit, nothing for them will essentially change other than they will have to get this permit for all their foreign signings now and not just those who are not from the EU.
But for the rest of us in the Premier league and especially lower down the scale in the Championship it could have drastic consequences.
English club squads are full of EU players who would not have been able to have been signed if the non EU criteria was applied, perhaps Jan Bednarek would be a good example at Saints and would not be at the club now, Mario Lemina would have been borderline. We would not have been able to sign Romeu as he would not have satisfied the criteria even though he was at Chelsea
At Saints we seem to have been preparing for Brexit, we have a much bigger UK core in our squad than most, we have only 8 players who are not from the UK or Ireland whereas for instance Brighton have 20, many of them were astute signings like Pascal Gross and was player of the year last year for the Seagulls, highly unlikely he would have met the criteria having come from a team just relegated from the Bundesliga and with no International caps and no participation in major tournaments like the Champions League and a fee of £3 million.
A look at most clubs squads outside of the Big Six would show similar to Brighton's, plenty of EU players who would not have met the criteria if we were not in the EU.
Then there is the question of players who have joined club's academies etc, would we have been able to take Jan Valery, would Chelsea for instance have been able to sign youngsters like Oriel Romeu or Nathan Ake, the answer is no.
So as I said the truth about Brexit for football is that it will not affect the big clubs but will drastically affect the rest of us, although here at Southampton we may be better set up to cope than most.
There will be fewer EU players in this country and it could psuh up transfer values for average players as with transfer fee paid part of the criteria some clubs would be prepared and able to stump up a few more million in order to land someone they rate.
The worry for the Premier League is that the gulf in standards between the Big Six and the rest of us, a gulf that is widening every year will start to get bigger and bigger and lead to a league that is no longer competitive with just the haves and the have nots as cannon fodder.
So when we pull out of the EU there will be a big gap to plug from many clubs in their future transfer policies, they will have to concentrate on the development of UK players and this is where we have a head start.
So why is the FA sitting back and not raising this more ?
The answer is that they probably see it as a an advantage, their priority is not the Premier League, it is the game as a whole with particular focus on the England International team.
They will feel that with clubs having to rely on English players being developed and a lot less on EU players who are of a decent standard but not top knotch, that this can only help the England team as we will hopefully see a better standard coming through and more English players at the top level.
This remains to be seen if it will be the case, as I say nothing will change in the Big Six and that to be blunt is where most of the England squad comes from, as long as England managers prefer to pick Chelsea players who have never started a Premier League game and may never do so, rather than those at lesser clubs who have worked hard to prove themselves at that level, then the England team will have a problem that will not be solved by less foreigners in the Premier League.
So football is coming up to a crossroads and it s hard to see anything positive coming out of Brexit for football unless you are a fan of a Big Six club !
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 30 bloggers
Matches of Yesteryear - Northampton v U's 24/4/99 by wessex_exile
Well, here we are going through the exhilarating highs and despairing lows of what it is to follow the U’s rollercoaster journey this season – one wonders what Saturday will bring, apart from yet another storm (Dennis this time). Vale Park is a tough enough place to go at the best of times, so will howling winds and lashing rain be the great leveller for the U’s? We shall see, but in the meantime, how about we go back to a time when our perennial concentration around this time of the season always seemed to be at the wrong end of the table, maybe put things a little bit into perspective…
Matches of Yesteryear - Bees v U's 11/3/03 (eventually) by wessex_exile
It was noted that Saturday’s stunning defeat of promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle was the first time we had beaten them since our League Cup victory back in 2003. Well our record against tomorrow night’s opponents Grimsby can challenge that – if you’re wondering ‘not another Tuesday night trip to Blundell Park’, the last time we played at Grimsby on a Saturday was also back in 2003…and the last time we won there? Over 40 years ago believe it or not, on 22nd September 1979, winning 2-1 thanks to two goals from Trevor Lee, with the U’s managed by none other than Bobby Roberts on that day.
Matches of Yesteryear - Southend v U's 17/2/04 by wessex_exile
“…Parky couldn’t quite keep the momentum from September going in the league, and we finished 11th at the end of the season. However, for the entertainment of the faithful, he was just about to embark with the U’s on two successful runs in both the FA Cup and the LDV Vans Trophy, the latter just about to start the following Tuesday (14th October) at Cheltenham”.
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Blackpool 11/10/03 by wessex_exile
Ahead of our upcoming match at the Abbey Stadium tomorrow, we again go back to the Parky era, and for this match his first full season in charge at Layer Rd. It’s funny, when I first started following the U’s in the 70s, matches against local rivals Cambridge United always seemed to be a really big thing, up there with Southend in many ways – they just don’t seem to have quite the significance these days?
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Wivenhoe 23/2/91 by wessex_exile
And so the unbeaten run goes on. Ahead of yet another vital match against a promotion contender on Tuesday night, we pay our first visit to a yet to be featured competition, going back nearly thirty years in the process. Last time in the Matches of Yesteryear series we explored our furthest distance for a ‘local derby’ match at Wycombe, this time we reflect on what must surely have been the shortest distance ever between the U’s and opponents for a competitive match?
[ Vote here ]