Football Association chairman Greg Dyke hopes Britain’s upcoming exit from the European Union will lead to more opportunities for young English players in the Premier League.
Thursday’s referendum saw 52 percent of the country opt to leave the EU, while 48 percent were in favour of remaining, which led to prime minister David Cameron announcing his resignation.
Dyke suggested that if there are fewer foreign players able to sign for Premier League clubs, it could be good news for home-grown players looking for first-team opportunities.
“One of my concerns in my period as chairman has been the decline in the opportunities for kids at the bigger clubs to get through and into the first team – very few make it,” Dyke told Sky Sports.
“If anything happens that gives them better chances, then I welcome it.”
He added to BBC Sport: “My personal view has always been that the decline in the number of English players in Premier League first teams – we are down to about 30 per cent now – is a shame. If it increases the number of English players, that is to be welcomed.”
Dyke was surprised by the result of the referendum and stressed he had been in favour of remaining a part of the EU.
“Well I don’t think any of us expected it to happen,” he said. “I was personally in favour of remain as an individual. I think most of us thought that we would stay in, but it has turned out we are not.
“Therefore in terms of football that could make quite a big difference because things like the Bosman ruling were all European rulings and they won’t apply to us in future. Quite how different we won’t know until we know the terms that we leave under.
“But clearly if the free movement of labour changes then English football clubs won’t just be able to bring in any European footballer they want to and whether the total number reduces will depend on the terms of the exit.
“There will have to be a process. I think the clubs will clearly want to keep a totally free market [but] whether that is possible we won’t know for probably two years.
“It would be a shame if some of the great European players can’t come here, but I don’t think that will happen.”
Meanwhile, Harry Kane told a press conference that England’s players have been discussing the Brexit result ahead of their last-16 Euro 2016 match against Iceland on Monday.
“Obviously we woke up and saw the news and a few of the lads were talking about it,” Kane said. “But I don’t think the lads are too focused on it to be honest.
“The Euros is the main thing, trying to progress and do well in that. I don’t think any of us know too much about it to comment on it.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I don’t know enough about it to be concerned about it and I don’t think the other players do as well.”
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