West Ham chairman David Gold: Brexit is already making it harder to complete transfers

 
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Gold: Players are more expensive to buy after Brexit (Source: Getty)

West Ham co-owner David Gold has led calls for the government to exempt Premier League clubs from post-Brexit employment laws that could make it harder for them to sign European players.

Following a meeting of Premier League chiefs in London, Gold said the Hammers are already finding it harder to make new signings due to the diminished value of the pound following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The 80-year-old argued it would be "potty" to allow the Premier League brand to be impeded by restricting their ability to sign players, a potential consequence of the Britain reasserting its right to control immigration from EU member states.

"It's already affecting us because players are more expensive to buy because of the pound," he said.

"The Premier League is the greatest league the world has ever known. It's a fantastic advert for Britain, for England. I know people talk about the wealth that's there, but these guys are on huge salaries and all the tax is going into the exchequer.

Read more: Article 50 and sport - What triggering of Brexit process could mean for Britain's sport industry, from player transfers to stadium projects and intellectual property

"Why would you stifle that? Why would you want that to change?

"The Premier League goes around the world and it's ever expanding. I don't see a government doing something potty to disturb that. I don't know about free movement but the structure would be that the best players receive work permits."

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady voiced fears surrounding Brexit's impact on football ahead of last June's referendum, alongside Stoke City owner and chairman Peter Coates.

Yesterday Coates argued that players should be included amongst the "highly-skilled and highly-paid workers" chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested could be exempt from stricter laws.

Under existing rules players from within the EU do not have to meet the FA's work permit criteria requiring potential new singings to have represented their country in a certain proportion of recent games.

"We'd expect them to be included [in exemptions], but we have to wait and see," Coates said.

"In Europe, we can get free movement and that will change, or may change, I don't know. We don't know."

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