Premier League worried Brexit will harm league’s global popularity and damage competitive nature

5 Sep

Premier League bosses are becoming increasingly concerned Brexit will seriously impact the league’s competitiveness and global popularity.

The government has been urged to abolish all restrictions on signing foreign players, or risk missing out on some of the best talent in Europe.

The Premier League is worried about the effect of Brexit

An exclusive by The Daily Telegraph has revealed the Premier League fear the next N’Golo Kante would not be granted a work permit after Brexit.

With just over six months until the UK leaves the European Union, the Premier League hierarchy are still waiting for clarification on a number of key issues.

Namely, they want to know if there will be a restriction on signing European players after Brexit and if clubs will have to fill a homegrown-player quota.

There are fears the Football Association will use Brexit as an opportunity to increase the opportunities for young English talent – made more prevalent after Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate bemoaned a lack of English talent at his disposal.

Premier League clubs will not be allowed to sign European players under the age of 18 – like Arsenal did with Fabregas

It has been accepted there it will be almost impossible for clubs to sign European players under the age of 18 like Arsenal did with Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas, or how Manchester United did with Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique.

Their case is supported by statistics proving football should be treated as a special case; the Premier League generates over £3billion in tax for the Treasury and directly employs over 12,000 people.

The main of contention lies in the acquiring of work permits for top players.

According to a study by Harvard data scientist Laurie Shaw, 591 of the 1,022 players signed by top-flight clubs in Premire League history with passports for a country in the EEA would not have qualified for a work permit.

N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester City for relatively low transfer fees and helped the team to a Premier League win in 2016. But Brexit terms may mean they struggle to compete for top-level signings

Shaw’s research shows that less wealthy clubs would suffer the most. Players like Kante and Riyad Mahrez would not have qualified for a work permit according to Shaw.

Most players at clubs such as Leicester City do not feature regularly for top-60 international teams – meaning the competitive balance would skew in favour of far wealthier clubs who can afford to pay bigger transfer fees for players.

John Motson believes lure of overseas riches will see clubs like Manchester United play Premier League games abroad

18 Aug

John Motson has conceded the Premier League could emulate LaLiga by playing a selection of games abroad because of the lure of the huge riches.

It was announced on Friday that LaLiga officials have entered a 15-year deal with American company Relevant to bring soccer to North America.

A billboard in New York City shows former Spurs hero Gareth Bale

As a result, an official LaLiga game could be played on US shores as soon as this season.

For fans of the English game, it invokes memories of the infamous ‘39th game’ proposed by Richard Scudamore during his tenure as Premier League chief.

And while it may not happen soon, Motson believes it is a very real possibility in the future.

He told MatchDay Live on talkSPORT: “If Manchester United were to play, say Tottenham, and decided to play the home game in China and the away game in the United States and those games counted as part of the league programme – well I can just about envisage that.

Manchester United faced Real Madrid at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in pre-season

“I don’t necessarily think it’s going to happen, I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next couple of seasons maybe, but that’s the kind of reach we’re talking about.

“What you have to remember; most of the Premier League television money is coming from overseas and most of the clubs (the big clubs this is) their commercial income; shirt sales and all that sort of stuff is growing day-by-day in the 200 territories that the Premier League now covers.

“So it would be a PR exercise and a money-making exercise commercially, rather than just necessarily drag all our fans over there.

“But all I’m saying to you today is the LaLiga decision, which sounds to me to be pretty definite, I think it has re-opened the debate.”

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Gunners’ have a miserable recent record at Stamford Bridge plus key match stats for Premier League clash

17 Aug

Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday and the Gunners will be looking to end a barren run of form in west London.

The Blues have won five of the last six home league games against Arsenal, with the exception being the 0-0 draw last season.

Arsenal have not won in the league at Stamford Bridge since Robin Van Persie scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 victory in October 2011

Chelsea vs Arsenal is live on talkSPORT, 5.30pm kick-off.

In fact, both meetings between the two sides at Stamford Bridge last season ended goalless.

Prior to that, the Gunners had not kept a clean sheet there for 12 consecutive games, and they haven’t scored in four of their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.

What are the other key stats?

Arsenal and Chelsea have met 52 times in the Premier League. In the first 26 meetings, Arsenal had a 54 per cent win rate (W14 D9 L3), while Chelsea have won 54 per cent of the last 26 (W14 D7 L5).

Sarri enjoyed a good home record at Napoli

The Gunners have not lost both of their first two games in a season since 1992/93 (vs Norwich and Blackburn).

Maurizio Sarri lost just four of his 57 home league games as Napoli manager. Saturday will be his first home league game in charge of the Blues.

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud scored in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017. If he scores for the Blues, he’ll be only the second player to score in this fixture for both sides in the Premier League, after Cesc Fabregas.