The Implications for Sport as a result of Brexit…


In a time of political, social and economic change which has caused insecurity for many residents in the UK and will go down in history books what are the effects of leaving the EU for sport- has the face of sport been changed forever by a cross in a box? I am 17, and on this day of the referendum my future has changed.


Previously the EU has enabled free movement which has resulted in athletes being able to travel freely for games, competitions and training meets.


As expected when the UK announced they would be negotiating to leave the EU the value of the British Pound dropped. This could potentially mean that in the Premier League, clubs could face inflated transfer fees and costings for international players, for example, West Ham FC offered 40m Euro for Michy Batshuayi which had increased from £34m due to the falling pound against the Euro.    Even though this could enable more British players to come through the ranks, it could be argued that it loses the international feel which brings so many people together who are from different cultures and backgrounds. Currently the Home Office state that for non-EU players they must have played a number of national team’s matches over the two years prior to their application. If this was applied to players from EU countries, more than 100 Premier League players would have failed to gain a work permit, including Leicester City player, N’Golo Kante. Therefore it would not give new and upcoming players the opportunity to play in the Premier League. As a consequence players could play for a different league which would therefore reduce the reputation of British Football. However I must emphasise that the agreements about travelling around the EU has not been announced yet. Further to this the Wimbledon prize of £28m has been reduced due to the devalued sterling.


fansIn addition traveling abroad could become more expensive meaning people may not be able to support their team on international games. In addition smaller clubs may not be able to afford training camps and competitions hindering their development. Importing goods could become more expensive which could affect the equipment and kit needed for sporting clubs as they may have obtained the goods cheaper internationally and higher interest rates because companies may move out of Britain.  Additionally some Sporting venues are funded by the EU which could hinder the future development of state of the art buildings to help our Athletes. With Scotland wanting another referendum for independence this could further affect the stability for both Scottish and English Sport and also hinder the results on the medal table for events including the Olympics and Paralympics.


Leaving the EU could also result in the Premier League missing out on talented young teenage players from Europe. Article 19 of the FIFA Regulations, regarding the Status and Transfer of Players, authorises the ‘transfers of minors between the age of 16 and 18 within the EU or EEA.’ This could cause Premier League academies to be unable to introduce up and coming players and would find it harder to find young players, for example: Arsenal player, Hector Bellerin, who joined the club aged 16.


Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association, alleged it was ‘too early’ to know the impact of leaving the EU.

“It could take two years to really know, but there could be quite an impact on English football because of Brexit. 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. 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 per cent 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.”


In addition the development of British Players could be hindered as La Liga ruling states that a madridmaximum of three non-EU players in each team. Currently at Real Madrid FC , with the present non EU players, James Rodriguez from Colombia and Danilo and Casemiro from Brazil; with the addition of Welshman Gareth Bale they will  break this rule which means players are going to be left disappointed.


The Cotonou Agreement and the Kolpak Ruling enables players from less developed countries including; Africa and the Caribbean, be under the same rights as players from the EU- because after all why should where you come from limit your successes in sport? This has enabled many players to be able to play in elite sport in the UK, for example: rugby player Manu Tuilagi from Samoa. Without the Cotonou Agreement and the Kolpak Ruling many players would not have been given the opportunity to showcase their full capabilities. However by leaving the EU these policies may not be allowed to continue which will limit the successes of international players and reduce the achievements on the pitch. Currently there are around 70 cricketers who play for counties in England and Wales employed under this agreement.


On the other hand, officials at The Ryder Cup have stated that there is still a future for the UK in the tournament. A representative from the Ryder Cup stated: ‘The criteria for being European in Ryder Cup terms is a geographical one (ie from countries who make up the Continent of Europe) not a political or economic one (ie from countries who make up the EU). Therefore the result of the UK referendum has no bearing in Ryder Cup qualification terms.


To conclude whatever your views are, sport has bought people together. The future cannot be said because people do not know what is going to happen. What I do know is that I am 17 years old and leaving the EU has changed the rest of my life. For good, or for bad is down to your opinions but please do not bring politics into sport.


Tweet me your opinions- @katie_tew


Katie TewBio: My journey into coaching started when I was 10 when I started assisting at the swimming lessons at my club. I progressed too gradually having more responsibility and to having my own group and gaining my qualifications. I am now also an assistant coach with our junior squads and an official. I was selected to attend the Youth Sport Trust National Talent Camp due to my work in coaching and officiating. I hope to share my journey and aspirations as a young coach through this blog.