Paul Stewart column: Sport faces a step into the unknown

As we embark on a new year, I can't help but wonder what 2019 will bring.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:28 am
Leaving the EU throws up all manner of questions for the Premier League

I say this as we are unable to escape the constant news reports surrounding Brexit; whether you are one of the many that chose to leave or the few that wanted to remain, are you really versed on the implications of your choices?

I have to admit I am still in the dark on what impact Brexit will have on our nation.

We certainly have not voted on anything factual, and I believe those that chose to leave did this for patriotic reasons and maybe let their heart rule their head – which is totally understandable given the lack of information forthcoming from so-called ‘politicians.’

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Why is Stewy talking about Brexit in a sports column, you may ask?

Well, without all the information and consequences of departure, how do we know whether or not it will impact on our sport?

We will look at football as a prime example.

This has become one of the biggest industries that drives our economy.

The Premier League alone brings in billions on a yearly basis; it attracts the best players from around the world, along with huge revenue streams.

If freedom of movement is restricted and boarder rules tighter, with governments issuing fewer permits to work, then this will become a minefield – or will their be a ‘rules for one but not for others’ strategy adopted?

How will this affect our minor sports, the sports where individuals dedicate their entire life to reach their goal, without the financial support afforded to our national game?

We have 240 recognised sports and many of these are having to be supported by fundraising, donations or paid for by the individual striving to realise their dream.

If we look outside the elite, then what impact will leaving the European Union have on these other sports?

This could see many of these sportsmen or women unable to compete on the world stage, something that – despite such a relatively small country – we have excelled at over many years.

Maybe, because I’m not a politician, my views are insignificant on the greater scale of things.

However, if I was a sportsman and if a decision such as Brexit had impacted on my chances of realising my dream, I would have been devastated and I hope that this is not the case of many of the sportsmen and women striving to do the same.

Finally, Blackpool FC.

I recently read the statement released by Mr Belokon regarding the situation of the club.

I was a little unsure of some of the content, but what did ring out loud and clear, was that until Owen Oyston vacates the club, then no resolution can be reached.

It would seem that a judge’s order for him to pay Mr Belokon immediately is the only way the club can move forward.