Today it was announced that the UK has voted to leave the EU. This was already a shock to half of the national and now it is rumoured to be a result that could affect the future of the NFL International Series taking place in London.
In an article posted by the Telegraph “Brexit wins: How will British sport be affected?” is it discussed how London is the go-to destination for major sporting championships and for American sports looking to expand their audience.
Although the NFL declined to comment, Patsalos believes Brexit will endanger the current London international series of games. “The way the NFL view it is that London is a gateway to Europe,” Patsalos said. “My view is that (because) we pull out of Europe then they will reconsider that deal.”
Personally, as a fan who has been very lucky to enjoy games here in the UK, this would be a huge kick in the teeth and one that I genuinely hope is not the case. Ultimately, until the NFL has any form of comment we will not know but I wouldn’t have thought the UK leaving the EU would have an impact on games being played in London.
In fact, in an article written by Forbes “U.K. Vote To Exit EU Removes Hurdle For NFL Expansion In London” it mentions how our vote to leave the European Union seemingly removes one of the hurdles for the NFL if the league wants an expansion team in London and in fact, the move makes any negotiations between the NFL and the U.K. a little easier.
Certain aspects of the NFL’s governance would violate both U.S. and EU competition laws if it weren’t for collective bargaining between the league and the players. Chief among those are the NFL Draft and other restrictions on player movement such as restricted free agency and the franchise tag.
Although such restrictions are legal under competition laws thanks to collective bargaining, it’s been unclear if the EU would deem them a violation of free movement laws. Freedom of movement and residence for residents of EU countries was a fundamental principle of the Treaty of Maastricht that integrated Europe.
Time will tell whether or not our vote has a negative impact on the future of the NFL in the UK. What are your thoughts?