It’s no secret that Arsene Wenger had hoped Britain would vote ‘Remain’ when it went to the ballot box on 23 June.
In the days before the referendum he, along with 140 other well-known Europeans with a vested interest in the UK maintaining relations with the EU, put his name to a ‘love letter to the UK’ published in the Times Literary Supplement.
“It is your decision, and we will all accept it,” the letter stated. “Nevertheless, if it will help the undecided to make up their minds, we would like to express how very much we value having the United Kingdom in the European Union.”
Ultimately, it was the Leave camp that won the day, a scenario that Wenger worries could have long-term repercussions on the strength of the Premier League.
“The players are going to see their salaries drop a little bit and the competition with Germany, for example, is going to be stronger,” Wenger told France Football [translated by ESPN].
“But that’s part of the risks of the profession and that worries me less.”
The boss does believe that the influx of TV money should initially cushion the blow.
“England has, all the same, a lot of resources in terms of finances. There’s leeway with the [TV] money that’s going to be brought in this year as well.
“But in my opinion it’s particularly in the long term that there are questions. The way in which England leaves Europe will dictate the future of the Premier League.
“If the league becomes less attractive, TV companies will spend less money, the revenues of clubs are going to decrease and the Premier League is going to suffer the consequences. That’s where the problem is.”
Without going full Donald Rumsfeld, there’s certainly a lot of known unknowns and plenty of unknown unknowns about the triggering of Article 50 and the subsequent Brexit. Nobody seems quite sure what the hell will happen or when.
Anyway, you can now go wild with your ‘quitting Europe early’ is so Arsenal gags…
Update: You can read the full transcript of his interview here.