Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has compared Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union to a car crash and says he feels sorry for voters that received ‘manipulated information’ during the referendum campaign.
The Argentine believes that the UK’s future is unclear after Brexit and says that the uncertainty should prompt the Government to consider pausing March’s scheduled exit.
Pochettino is the second Premier League manager to criticise the referendum after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Brexit makes no sense and the United Kingdom should be able to vote again.
“After two and a half years, I still don’t know if it will be good or bad [for English football],” Pochettino said as he prepares his side to face West Ham. “For me, it’s all about applying common sense. If the politicians now realise it [Brexit] will be tough and it will be bad for England, why not go back and explain, ‘This is what is going to happen to us.”
Pochettino then likened the process of the UK’s exit as being like a car crash where you continue to hurtle into trouble instead of swerving out of the way. “It’s like doing nothing when you are going to crash [your car]. If I’m going to crash but Jesus [Perez, Pochettino’s trusted assistant manager] is saying ‘come on, come on, push, faster’. No! Stop!
“I feel sorry. First of all for the people I love but also for the people who do not have the opportunity to say, ‘I need more information.’ We still don’t know the consequences,” Pochettino added as he pondered the possibility of a second referendum.
“I feel so sorry because it’s a situation that should be dealt with by people who have all the information, who know the reality. If people are for or against Brexit, they manipulate everything.
“We don’t know if another referendum will be good or bad,” he added, suggesting a second vote could further add to uncertainty. “If I need to vote in or out [again], I still don’t know what the best decision for us will be. If you’re going to vote, it’s because you believe it will be good for you, for the people you love and your friends, country, everyone. But after two and a half years, we still don’t know.”
“It’s so unfair to put the responsibility on the people because there are consequences. We said Brexit, we bought into an idea. But afterwards, who suffers? We don’t know.
“If someone told you it would be good for my family, for myself and then the consequences are different [to expected], you are the guilty one. That’s what I don’t like. If I am responsible for picking a starting XI, I need to take the responsibility — I cannot ask the fans who should play.
“And I know the consequences if I don’t pick right and get a good result. It’s such an important a decision and after two and a half years, 99 per cent of the people of this country still don’t know if it’s good [to be] in or out.”
Spurs director Donna-Maria Cullen previously said that Brexit added “20 per cent on costs for foreign goods,” which increased the cost of their delayed new stadium. Crystal Palace chairman and co-owner Steve Parish had a more optimistic take on Brexit and said it’s a great opportunity to restore the balance between English and overseas players in academies, although Burnley and Stoke representatives believe it will be ‘hugely damaging’ to English football.
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