EPL Clubs Could See Big Changes To Player Recruitment Post-Brexit
The EPL's 20 clubs "know the two departments where Brexit will hit them hardest: the player transfer market and assets held in British pounds," according to Joshua Robinson of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. EPL clubs have "already been paying for Brexit in one way" since June '16, as the British pound "lost more than 10% of its value against the Euro" in the immediate aftermath of the vote. Few U.K. endeavors have been "shaped as radically by the frictionless arrival of European nationals as English soccer." The European Union also has been an effective way for the EPL to bring in players who "don't even identify as European when it comes to their own national team." For now, the status of such players in England "appears unaffected." A source said that the EPL "believes its global reach and relationship with the British government will be enough to keep it that way, even if it requires exceptions." However, Robinson notes the league "could be powerless in one specific area that has been crucial to making it the most competitive on earth: recruiting players younger than 18." Outside the EU, that now "figures to be impossible due to superseding FIFA rules designed to protect minors." The EPL believes that this summer "will give clubs one more chance to sweep up talented 16-to-18-year-olds, but that remains far from certain." For English clubs, this is a "source of some consternation" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/4).