Catlin can see Brexit making mark on game

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Luke Leahy is congratulated for his opener Picture: Joe Pepler

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MARK CATLIN believes the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU could shake up the English game.

And the Pompey chief executive feels the Football Association may use Brexit as a platform to reform the national game.

But Catlin stressed he does not see the result the EU referendum having an immediate impact on the Blues.

The outcome of Thursday’s vote will prompt a shift in landscape as the process of divorcing from the EU begins.

One key area which is certain to come under the microscope will be employment law.

Catlin explained he can see that making it’s mark on the football world – even if the exact nature of how is unclear.

He said: ‘There’s going to be a period now where our government negotiate with the EU in regard of labour laws.

‘It’s something we have to keep an eye on. It could have an effect.

‘We just don’t know how at this time, along with lots of other industries, who have high percentages of people from the EU.

‘We’ll have to play it by ear and see how it develops.

‘But there’s nothing we can actually do or say about it until we know what the agreements are going to be.

‘I don’t anticipate that happening for a couple of years.’

Under current laws there is freedom of movement to allow EU players to gain moves without a complex work permit process.

Players outside of the EU have needed to have played 75 per cent of their country’s games over two year to qualify.

New requirement will index a percentage to the club’s Fifa ranking.

Dimitri Payet, Anthony Martial and N’Golo Kante are highlighted as some of the players who would have failed to meet the criteria.

Catlin can see the FA using a player shortfall to promote home-grown talent.

He said: ‘Specifically to football, and this is just my opinion, there could be a push from the FA now we’re not tied by European law now moving forward.

‘So, perhaps, we can go to encouraging young English players to play by restricting non-internationals from arriving.

‘At the moment, under EU law, that is something you can’t do. Now maybe that opportunity arises.

‘The problem could be, if you go down that route, top English clubs could be at a disadvantage against top European clubs.

‘Real Madrid can sign anyone from the EU, like we can at the moment, without restrictions. If we self-impose restrictions, as good as it may be for the English game, it could have a detrimental effect on our ability to compete in Europe.

‘Under a potential new ruling, the Kantes and Payets wouldn’t fit the new criteria.’

Catlin stressed he doesn’t see any imminent threat to Pompey. He feels they would need to be in the game’s second tier for that.

Catlin said: ‘This topic is on the agenda now for the future. It’s going to be up for discussion.

‘There’s going to be a period of adjustment, reflection and hopefully some calm heads and sensible agreements.

‘From a Pompey view, though, any decisions while we are outside of the Championship really are negligible.

‘I think we are a couple of years from agreements being made anyway, so there’s time to prepare.’