FIFA intermediary Roberto De Fanti has warned West Brom, Leeds United and Burnley about the impact that Brexit could have on them.
Earlier this week, the FA confirmed they are drawing up plans with the Premier League and the EFL for overseas players to join English clubs after the UK officially leaves the European Union at the end of the year.
As confirmed on the FA’s website, “clubs will not be able to sign players freely from the EU” and players who want to join Premier League and EFL clubs will have be “required to gain a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement)”.
Whether or not a player can obtain a GBE will depend on senior and youth international appearances, quality of the selling club and club appearances.
However, former Sunderland director football De Fanti, who has also played key roles in takeovers at Reading and Leyton Orient, has warned that Brexit could have a huge impact on clubs outside the Premier League’s big-six.
The Italian, who’s based in London, named West Brom, Leeds and Burnley as the Premier League clubs who could be hurt most by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
“It radically changes the in and out market in England,” De Fanti told TuttoMercatoWeb. “We Italians have always bought a few British players but at the time when so many Brits who went to Holland, Germany, from [Jadon] Sancho to [Jude] Bellingham – now they are non-EU citizens. How do you bring them to Italy?”
He added: “For Man City and Liverpool the problem does not exist. Burnley, West Brom and Leeds will find difficulties. Away from the big-six, all will have problems and here is turmoil.”
Brexit was always going to have a massive impact on clubs like West Brom.
The FA’s plan to allow clubs to sign EU players suggests that only the very best will be able to come to England and based on West Brom’s lack of transfer funds in the last transfer window, they will be priced out of being able to sign players they’re able to sign.
It stops clubs like the Baggies from scouting Europe and unearthing gems on cheap deals.
While that isn’t something that has happened much under Luke Dowling’s time as Albion’s sporting director, it severely limits the ability to improve the squad.
As clubs like Albion will be forced to sign British players, it could mean that prices will be ramped up even more than they currently are.
Luckily, the club has a strong academy set-up and that could prove vital over the years.
But this is one of the big impacts that Brexit is going to have in this country.
The Premier League’s time as the best league in the world could be over within a matter of years.
In other West Brom news, Adrian Durham has recalled the moment this ex-Albion ace left him “mesmerised” at The Hawthorns.