Cesc Fabregas fears the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will have a damaging effect on the Premier League.
Britain voted 51.9 per cent to 48.1 in favour of leaving the EU in Thursday’s referendum, triggering the resignation of prime minister David Cameron.
Spain international Fabregas made his first competitive appearance in English football in a League Cup tie for Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2003.
Fabregas was able to move from Barcelona at 16 as FIFA regulations allow transfers for players aged between 16 and 18 within the EU.
The move would have been impossible had Britain not been in the EU as clubs from outside the Union are not allowed to sign players under the age of 18.
The Premier League released a statement on Friday in which it said it was confident of remaining a global attraction, but Chelsea midfielder Fabregas believes that an EU exit may deter players from moving to England’s top flight in the future.
“It’s a very disappointing decision and I think very negative for many people,” Fabregas said while on international duty with Spain at Euro 2016.
“Personally, I see it as a mistake. I didn’t expect it, as I went to bed optimistic and woke up to this news.
“I think it’s damaging for the Premier League. It’ll be harder to sign players, the salaries will change if the pound gets close to the Euro.
“It’s a decision that will create many complications not just in football, but the daily lives and future of all people.”