Friday, 30 December 2016 06:48

SCOTTISH CLUBS WILL FACE BREXIT HANGOVER OVER WINTER WINDOW

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Many armchair fans will have faced frustration over Christmas as Football Manager 2017’s in-game Brexit simulation has hurt the ability of UK clubs to compete internationally.

But the real-life managers of Scottish clubs will face difficulty in attracting new stars from European clubs, with the collapse in the value of the pound driving up the cost of buying foreign players and making wages less attractive.

Scottish clubs used the last winter window to strengthen their squads, with a host of teams snapping up foreign talent as loans, free agents and transfers.

And just like laptop managers see in the Football Manager simulation, Scottish clubs could face a hazardous work permit system for EU players if the Tories push ahead with their plans for a hard Brexit – although some players will find that Scotland becomes independent to protect our place in Europe.

Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:

“All football fans will have their favourite signings from Europe – with the likes of Henrik Larsson, Fernando Ricksen, Rudi Skacel and Franck Sauzée shining for Scottish clubs.

“But with the Tories determined to drag Scotland out of Europe it could become increasingly difficult for our clubs to attract the stars of the future.

“The weaker pound and the potential of work permits for EU citizens could mean that players choose Poland over Pittodrie or France over Firhill.

“Even the famous Bosman ruling that allows Scottish clubs to pick up free transfers came from an EU court.

“Of course, just as many Football Manager players will have found, if Theresa May won’t keep us in the single market then independence might be the only way to stay in Europe’s top tier.”