An independent report uncovering the true impact of immigration regulations on the UK football market introduced post-Brexit has been released today by Analytics FC. The report focuses upon the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) regulations introduced for the transfer market in England and Scotland. The report, entitled BREXITBALL: An Independent Impact Analysis upon British Football of the Governing Body Endorsement Regulations since Brexit, is the first of its kind.
It was co-authored by Analytics FC and Fragomen LLP, the world’s largest specialist immigration law firm, and is a must-read for everyone involved in professional football. It breaks down key findings by analysing market trends and effects across the Men’s and Women’s Game, including young players and coaching staff.
Jeremy Steele, CEO of Analytics FC, said, “Our BrexitBall report had two objectives. Firstly, there had been no wide-ranging study of the effect of GBE, despite its enormous impact. We have been investigating the effects from day one and felt it was important to share this accrued knowledge with stakeholders such as the Premier League, EFL, SFA, SPFL, and PFA, as well as the wider public, so that the impact could be more widely understood. The second objective was to showcase the variety of data analytics we do at Analytics FC. This report is a more traditional analysis project, in that it didn’t warrant the use of any of our predictive machine learning algorithms, but the analysis and football context highlight the industry knowledge and attention to detail that our analysts apply to all our projects.”
Some of the report’s key findings are:
- The available player market for British clubs has reduced by 90%
- The EFL is now spending far less on transfers, especially from abroad
- There are significant differences between England and Scotland, especially where transfers go to an exceptions panel
- Foreign transfers are down in the Women’s game
- More British players are being used by Premier League and Championship clubs, but this does not equate to British players playing more minutes in the Premier League
Andy Watson, our GBE expert and one of the report’s co-authors, said, “The depth and importance of the GBE regulations, and the fact that so few people understood the complexities and ramifications of the subject meant that an independent impact report of this kind was necessary. Though there have only been four transfer windows since the legislation was brought in the report highlights a host of consequences from the GBE legislation; the Scottish interpretation of exceptions panels and effect on The Championship clubs are probably the primary areas of interest.”
John Kiely, also a co-author, added, “Following the end of the EU-UK transition period on 31 December 2020, clubs have had a hard time getting their heads around the GBE regulations. This report not only provides clarity on the new system, it also takes a deep dive into market trends and the regulations’ wider impact on British football. The report is truly a first of its kind and should be considered essential reading for football’s governing bodies, clubs, players and representatives.”
You can also listen to a special edition of the Analytics FC podcast on the topic, with Andy and John, here.
Analytics FC is a globally recognised football strategy and analytics specialist with proven experience in delivering data-driven solutions. We fuse performance data models, market analytics and business acumen to support clients in achieving their strategic goals. We work with clubs, federations, agencies, players and other key football stakeholders across the professional game.