Premier League says Brexit will not harm its appeal
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's decision to leave the European Union will not harm the prestige of the world's most popular domestic soccer competition, the Premier League said on Friday.
Last season 432 European players were registered to play in the 20-team Premier League -- with some of the continent's biggest names plying their trade with England's leading clubs.
Although there will no immediate implications for EU-based players already in the Premier League, long-term it could potentially be harder for English clubs to sign new players.
However, a spokesman said it was too early to make predictions over what effect Brexit will have.
"The Premier League is a hugely successful sporting competition that has strong domestic and global appeal," the spokesman said.
This will continue to be the case regardless of the referendum result, he added.
"Given the uncertain nature of what the political and regulatory landscape might be following the 'Leave' vote, there is little point second guessing the implications until there is greater clarity," the spokesman said.
"Clearly, we will continue to work with Government and other bodies whatever the outcome of any process."
Currently players from outside the EU have to meet certain requirements before being granted work permits such as having played 30 percent of their previous club's games in the two years prior to moving.
A recent BBC study found that more than 100 Premier League players from countries in the EU would fail to meet the criteria applied to those from outside of Europe.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)