• Kade Godwin

How Brexit could affect soccer worldwide

As many know by now, the United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union for good, and industries across Britain are already bracing for the inevitable repercussions of this Brexit move.

Agriculture, automotive, pharmaceutical, and financial businesses are among those which will be hit the hardest. However, there’s another prosperous English empire that could suffer even greater: the English Premier League. While soccer might not be as popular in America, the sport reigns supreme around the world, bringing in billions of dollars each year. According to Mic, soccer matches generate almost as much revenue as the overall revenues from three U.S. sporting events: golf, tennis, and Formula 1 racing, combined.

Over the past 20 years, the EU has continually expanded, bringing more and more countries into the “freedom of movement” area. The "freedom of movement" privilege describes the right of any EU citizen to travel, reside, and work in any member nation. In regards to the Premier League, players from other nations have the opportunity to play for soccer clubs in the U.K. However, many Brits are opposed to this due to the decreasing proportion of U.K. and Irish players in the national league.

Last season, U.K. natives accounted for only 41 percent of all Premier League players, players from other EU nations accounted for 41 percent, and players not associated with the EU accounted for 18 percent. Some will argue that a drop in foreign recruitment after Brexit would be a positive thing because it would give greater opportunities to British players.

In addition, the U.K. pound dropped in value immediately after the Brexit vote and could drop even more in the coming months. This devaluation means that British clubs will have to pay more when dealing with a foreign club that uses any currency other than the pound. It also means that foreign owners of Premier League teams and players will see their assets value decrease drastically.

This could potentially deter foreigners from having dealings with the U.K., which would most definitely harm the English economy. In addition, players who keep their earnings in offshore accounts will also see their account values drop dramatically after the move becomes official. The United Kingdom is now more divided than ever as the British government continues its negotiations with EU officials over the precise terms of the severance.