Premier League says Brexit will not harm its appeal

Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:04pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - The Premier League said Britain's decision to leave the European Union will not harm the prestige of the world's most popular domestic soccer competition but experts warned on Friday of long-term damage to football's transfer system.

The free movement of players around Europe, a legacy of the seminal 1995 Bosman ruling, together with huge television revenues raked in by Premier League clubs have made England the destination of choice for many of Europe's top players.

Last season, according to Sky Sports, 432 players from EU countries were registered to play in the 20-team Premier League.

Although they will not be affected immediately, Britain's eventual exit could spell trouble.

The Premier League said it would not try to second guess all the implications of Brexit until the dust settled on a seismic day for Britain on which Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would be standing down.

"The Premier League is a hugely successful sporting competition that has strong domestic and global appeal," a spokesman said in a statement.

"This will continue to be the case regardless of the referendum result," he added.

"Clearly, we will continue to work with Government and other bodies whatever the outcome of any process."

Currently players from outside the EU have to meet certain requirements before being granted work permits such as having played 30 percent of games in the two years prior to moving.   Continued...

Britain Football Soccer - Liverpool v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - Anfield - 11/5/16
The new premier league logo as pictured on a fan wearing Liverpool's new kit for next season
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine