By Sam Morgan
(EurActiv) — The manager of English football club Tottenham Hotspur has blamed the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union for his team’s failure to sign any new players before the start of the new campaign.
Argentine Mauricio Pochettino has blamed a weakened British pound as a result of the Brexit vote, as well as significant spending on a new stadium for the north London club, for his club’s lack of activity during the summer transfer window.
Sterling hit a near nine-month low against the euro on Thursday (9 August), meaning players plying their trade in countries that use the single currency are more expensive for UK-based clubs.
The lack of new arrivals to a team that already includes England captain Harry Kane, and World Cup stars Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, means that Spurs are the first Premier League club in history not to add fresh faces in the summer.
Pochettino insisted that retaining the services of his star players, completing the construction of a new training ground and spending a billion pounds on a new stadium was “brave”.
He added that thanks to the 2016 referendum, whose result is likely to see the UK leave the EU in March 2019, “the cost [of players] is 30% more”.
Pochettino, who has been Spurs boss since 2014, said his club’s current situation is “no drama” adding that Brexit is the real concern. The former player said that “[Brexit] is a drama, I feel sorry for the English people”.
Spurs fans have been left disappointed by the lack of new signings and will have to hope instead that the club’s existing squad has enough firepower to propel them to a first league triumph since the 1960s.
Bookmaker PaddyPower currently has Tottenham at 16/1 to win the league outright, while Manchester City, the reigning champions, are favourites at 8/13.
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