The English Premier League clubs chairmen have urged the British government to exempt footballers from immigration controls that are likely to be imposed once Britain exits the European Union.

Club executives believe Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc could hold back their ability to sign players from the continent, with Stoke City Chairman Peter Coates saying the league needed protection from such uncertainty.

West Ham’s co-owner David Gold said Brexit had already limited premier league clubs in the transfer window as the fall in the value of the pound made players more expensive.

The terms of the immigration controls will be formalised before the exit deadline on March 29, 2019, after Prime Minister Theresa may had triggered Britain’s two-year exit process earlier this week.

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