Football in Brief: Fall in pound will lead to mass exodus, warns Alonso

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The Independent Football

The fall in the value of the pound may not normally be something that overly concerns most football fans, but the Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has warned that it could prompt an exodus from the Premier League, with the situation being exacerbated by the introduction of a new higher-rate tax band in April's budget, writes Jonathan Wilson in Bloemfontein.

"Of course we think about it," Alonso said. "We're not stupid. We keep an eye on these things. When you see your contract down by 30 per cent, then you cannot be happy."

When Alonso signed his contract in June 2007, one pound traded at €1.48, but it has since fallen to €1.18. "The weakness of the sterling is not helping the Premier League because those competing have to fight against the European teams," Alonso said.

"Hopefully over the next few months and years it will get back to what it was not so long ago. But I cannot do anything – it must be Gordon Brown."

The 27-year-old, who has three years left on his contract, has been strongly linked with a return to Spain with Real Madrid, and has been notably cagey about committing his future to the Anfield club.

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The 27-year-old's buy-out clause in his contract is £18m. Santa Cruz missed the end of the season with a knee injury and has made no secret of his desire to leave.

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