Football is coming home! Well not home...


My excitement does not stem from the Premier League or the fact that my team had their first home win in the Champions League (Go Leicester!) but rather comes from the fact that the NFL is coming to London this weekend! My team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, will be squaring up against the Indianapolis Colts in London's Wembley stadium. The Colts defence has improved steadily in the past month and Andrew Luck (QB for the Colts) is in great form - Jaguars, well, we need to win this game!

But that aside, what has the NFL got to do with MP Andy Burnham and his suggestion that English Football should be subject to "quotas". Well, I believe the presence of the NFL in London demonstrates the international nature of the UK and our love for sport - we desire the best and sometimes the best will come from overseas! 

Now the question of Brexit and what impact it will have on our beloved Premier League is one that no one can truly answer. However, I am more than happy to add my thoughts to the situation. 

The most obvious impact may be found in Article 19 of the FIFA Regulations - Article 19 only permits the international transfer of players who are over the age of 18 (unless the transfer is made between EU/EEA clubs). If the UK is no longer part of the EU or the EEA then this exemption no longer applies. Now it is unlikely that the Premier League will fail to attract top players but there is the obvious concern of youth development and the role that the Article 19 exemption plays in squad building. 

And so my thoughts on the introduction of "quotas" in English football: there is simply no need. If the exemption in Article 19 disappears then all football clubs will have to change their approach to domestic youth development and that can only have a positive impact on English football. The suggestion behind the "quota" scheme is that it will encourage clubs to develop home grown talent - surely Brexit will do that anyway?

There is a total of 432 European players in the Premier League and no doubt those players have already made arrangements to secure their residence in the UK - if not, then they need to contact an immigration lawyer immediately! But as a sports fan, any move to try and regulate how many talented sports men and women enter the UK would be a very bad game play indeed!

Go Jags! 

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“Could Brexit mean something different for football? Could Brexit mean that English football takes a step away from the European directives with relation to free movement in sport and could we look at introducing a quota for our home grown players?  “So that the Premier League doesn’t become a playground for the world’s best talent but, actually, we make sure that we bring through more English and home-grown players in our domestic league. “I think that’s a debate that is worth having.”
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