Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says Brexit would be damaging for football

Joe Hall
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Peter Coates: Brexit would be damaging for business (Source: Getty)

Stoke City owner Peter Coates has warned that a Brexit would cause long-term damage to football in the UK.

The founder of bet365 claims the UK opting to leave the European Union would have "frightening" consequences for its economy.

Coates echoed the argument of West Ham vice-chairwoman Karren Brady, in suggesting that Premier League clubs would find it harder to obtain work visas for new players.

Read more: Karren Brady warns that Brexit would have "devastating" consequences for football

"From my point of view and my business [a Brexit] would be damaging," Coates told iSportconnect.

"I believe it's going to be damaging for sport and in particular for football; I don't think people appreciate that.

"It could mean something like two thirds of players wouldn't be able to get visas and therefore won't be able to come - long-term it would do a lot of damage to football."

Coates bought Stoke for a secodn time in 2005 and has overseen their promotion to the top tier of English football in 2008 for the first time in over 20 years and subsequent establishment as a Premier League force.

He also said that his betting company bet 365 would suffer from a Brexit.

“Europe’s a big market for bet365, we have a lot of licences throughout Europe and they would all be at risk," said Coates.

“What will happen to those licences – I don’t know; we could be excluded from those markets and we’d have at least two years of uncertainty.”

“I think it’s quite frightening what it would do to the British economy.”

“The people who want to exit are in denial of these things and I haven’t heard a persuasive argument as to why we shouldn’t stay.”

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