Britain’s decision to leave the EU is eating into the salaries of foreign Premier League footballers — including recent Manchester United signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to the Financial Times.
Ibrahimovic’s sterling-denominated pay packet was worth roughly 10% less against the dollar by the time he signed it, the paper says.
His negotiations with United unofficially started before Britain decided to leave the EU on June 23, but by the time the deal went through the pound had already plummeted in response to the referendum result. It is currently at just $1.31 against the dollar and €1.18 in euros.
Even so, the deal — said to be worth £220,000 ($289,000) a week — is so big that that Ibrahimovic may not mind the currency fluctuation.
The fallout from Brexit is set to hit English football clubs at every level. Business Insider previously reported on the plummeting pound possibly scuppering West Ham’s bid for Belgium international Michy Batshuayi, who ultimately went to Chelsea.
Another problem for football clubs with Brexit is the potential change in Free Movement rules. The Financial Times notes that overseas EU players are currently allowed to join English team academies before they play for their national teams, but with all manner of Brexit negotiations up in the air this key allowance could be revoked.
A Brexit could also mean that Britain’s veto power on the International Football Association Board, which decides the rules of the game, could also be jeopardy. As Stefan Szymanski, author of Money and Football: A Soccernomics Guide, told the Financial Times: “There could be a movement that says, while we’re in the process of downgrading [the UK’s] status in the world, why don’t we remove some of these anachronisms as well?”
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