What Brexit could look like... according to Football Manager 2017

Newstalk's Team 33 speak to Sports Interactive's Ciaran Brennan about the new edition of the game

BY Raf Diallo 14:06 Wednesday 2 November 2016, 14:06 2 Nov 2016

On November 4th, Football Manager 2017 hits shelves everywhere as budding managers try to channel their energies into taking their clubs to glory.

As ever, there are new features and FM17 had a bit pretty big headline one when the release date was announced: "Brexit" will be part of the game.

Given its realism, the tumultuous events of the outside world will have an impact for players and in terms of relevance to football, the implications of the Brexit vote are part of what you will need to negotiate.

Of course, politicians and economists still appear unsure about how Brexit will ultimately play out in real life, but FM17 has a few scenarios which could perhaps end up being close to the future truth in terms of its future impact on the Premier League and beyond.

You can listen into the Football Manager Special on the podcast player or on iTunes:

On this week's Team 33, Ciaran Brennan, Communications Director for FM17 creators Sports Interactive joined us for our annual Football Manager Special and he gave us more than a hint about what Brexit could look like in the virtual football world.

"We're searching high and low for advice [about Brexit]. There's not a lot of advice out there. It seems it took everybody by surprise - even the people campaigning for Brexit - because nobody has a plan," says Brennan of the reigning uncertainty in real-life.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson might have to play Football Manager to give them an idea of what might be on the horizon. Picture by STEFAN WERMUTH WPA-Rota/Press Association Images

"So what we've done is try and model as many different scenarios from the highly likely to the highly unlikely and put them all in, so if two different people were to sit down tomorrow with a copy of Football Manager 2017 and give it a go, they'd probably both end up with different Brexit experiences."

Speaking about different scenarios, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had touched on the merits of staying in the European Union, including in an unpublished column.

But moving that aside, when the vote went in favour of the pro-Brexit camp, it became clear that football was going to be hugely affected by the implications of the referendum, hence why it has been included.

"Anyone who plays Football Manager 2017 from the start will play through at least past 2018-2019, which is when Brexit will have happened. But we have to put something in there to reflect that. The problem we had and still face is that we don't know what that Brexit is going to look like. We're working on the balance of probabilities," says Brennan.

However, he gave us an idea of the potential scenarios which are discussed on the podcast, including: the least severe being that European Union footballers from outside the UK will be exempted from requiring work permits; Northern Ireland and Scotland breaking away from Great Britain; the worst case scenario would be that Premier League clubs would need to get work permits for any players from outside England and Wales would have knock-on effects like making the Premier League "less attractive"; there is a scenario which would see requirements that a larger percentage of your squad players at an English club would need to be English. 

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