How Brexit could affect the Premier League

The UK’s economy looks set to take a massive hit with a loss on Premier League wages if a hard Brexit goes ahead.

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More than £726million in tax from Premier League players would have disappeared from the UK’s coffers if Brexit had hit after the vote on June 23, 2016 and the league had to manage without EU players.

The study, The Brexit Effect by Free Super Tips, reveals the impact clubs would face if freedom of movement was restricted, forcing the clubs to stop buying players from EU member states.

The research looks at wages, transfers and results without EU players and what this would mean to the UK economy in this scenario.

Chelsea are the Premier League’s biggest contributors to the economy with largest wages for EU players - the club’s EU-based squad have been taxed £99.2million since the start of the 2016/17 season. The Blues are followed by Manchester United in second with £74.9million, Manchester City with £70.7million, Arsenal (£53.1million) and Southampton (£48.5million).

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Although the majority of the most-taxed EU players come from the top six clubs, this 2018-19 season throws up a few interesting findings with Everton’s tax bill the highest for EU squad members.

The Toffee’s EU players are set to be taxed £37.3million followed by Chelsea with £32.1million going to the taxman, Brighton £30million, Manchester City £29.4million and Newcastle United in £12.2million.

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Brexit’s impact would also be heavily felt in the transfer market with Premier League clubs spending more than £2.1billion on players from EU countries over the last three seasons.

Once again, it’s Chelsea who will feel the greatest impact from a hard Brexit with the Blues banking £290.5million, with City the second-highest spending club having an extra £280.5million, followed by Man United (£235million), Everton (£158.4million) and Arsenal (£155.9million).

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Mirroring the financial findings, the data shows that Chelsea are the most reliant on EU players with 78 per cent of Premier League minutes played by EU members of the squad.

Wolves’ reliance on Portuguese players reveals the type of task they would have at rebuilding their squad if freedom of movement was restricted with EU players involved in 68 per cent of the games, followed by Huddersfield whose EU players featured in 55 per cent of matches, Arsenal (49 per cent) and Manchester United (49 per cent).

And the most Brexit-proof teams, or teams with the least minutes played by EU players, sees Burnley with only 14 per cent of EU players used, while Neil Warnock’s pro-Brexit stance saw Cardiff EU squad play 17 per cent of games, followed by Liverpool (20 per cent), Crystal Palace (27 per cent) and West Ham (30 per cent).

Under Brexit conditions, this season would see Liverpool increase their advantage, gaining a clear lead in the league, with the Merseysiders three points ahead of Manchester City and a huge swing in goal difference with the Reds 10 goals ahead of their title rivals.

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With only a few games remaining, predictions based on the current clubs’ records, Liverpool and City would finish level on 94 points with only the Reds’ superior goal difference helping them secure this season’s title.

Elsewhere in the league, the top four remains the same as the current league standings, however Leicester would be major beneficiaries of Brexit with the club moving from their current 10th place to 5th with a final points tally of 64. The rest of the top 10 would see Everton in 6th on 64 points followed by West Ham (7th on 61 points), Crystal Palace (8th on 57 points), Watford (9th on 57 points) and Manchester United (10th on 52 points).

At the bottom of the table Wolves’ reliance on Portuguese players means that Wolves would be relegated with the club dropping from 7th to 18th with 34 points and an -11-goal difference swing, with Huddersfield in 19th and Fulham 20th place, both finishing on 17 points.