Arsene Wenger: Brexit will impact on Premier League in long term

Arsene Wenger feels Britain's exit from the European Union will have a big impact on the Premier League.
Image: Arsene Wenger feels Britain's exit from the European Union will have a big impact on the Premier League

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union will impact heavily on the Premier League in the long term.

And Wenger believes plans to 'Brexit' will be a "spanner in the works" for long-held dreams of luring the best players from Barcelona and Real Madrid to England.

Changes to UK employment law would have made it impossible for players such as Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial to have made moves to the Premier League, while it has also been predicted that the weakening pound will lead to bigger transfer fees.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke says it is too early to know how Brexit will affect British football

Wenger professed his surprise at the result of June's EU referendum which saw the country vote in favour of Brexit - with the UK planning to withdraw membership as a result - and has warned that football will be affected.

"It worries me, it shocks me too," the 66-year old told France Football.

"Nobody knows how exactly this is going to translate into a practical plan. Nobody really knows where we are going.

"But the shock is that we discover that in England there is a majority of people who want to leave the European Union.

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"The players will see their wages come down a bit and the competition with Germany, for example, will be stronger.

"In my opinion, it is overwhelmingly in the long-term that there are questions to be answered. The way in which England will leave the European Union will dictate the future of the Premier League.

"If the league becomes less attractive, the broadcasters will offer less money for the rights, club revenues will decrease and the Premier League will suffer the consequences. There lies the problem."

Arsene Wenger has been touted as a potential England manager by Howard Wilkinson

With a new multi-billion pound television deal coming into force for the new season and beyond, Premier League clubs should still be able to afford the continent's best players.

But Wenger, who has so far this summer splashed in excess of £3m on Switzerland international Granit Xhaka and agreed a deal in principle to sign Japanese striker Takuma Asano, believes Britain's exit from the EU could impact the appeal of a move to the Premier League.

"We thought that one day the best players from Real and Barca would say 'I also want to go to England because everyone is over there'," he added.

Arsenal have bought Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka in the current transfer window

"All of that is now uncertain and Brexit is a spanner in the works. It will have consequences, not in the very short term, but in the long term, yes.

"The big English clubs have the means to keep hold of their biggest assets. The most important thing lies elsewhere. Currently, the league is seen as the most attractive one and that image could disappear."

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