For a moment in 2008, it seemed that such lavish rewards would vanish. The bubble in football like the bubble in the economy would be replaced by an interlude of sanity. No such luck. Last week, as Rooney demanded a salary of £10.4m, the City prepared to gorge itself on a bonus pot of £7bn.
Why is it such a bad thing that the workers gather unto themselves the fruits of their labour?
I thought lefties rather liked this thing, that capital wasn\’t scooping this excess value off the top?
Tellingly, both are aware of the dangers of what Alan Sugar called the \”prune juice effect\” on the Premier League, where money pours in at one end from Sky and out the other to agents and players.
Not for the first time Alan Sugar has a decent grasp of basic economic thinking. This is true of any industry that depends upon human talent: the talent ends up with the money. True of banking, football and movies.
And yes, it is also a principal/agent problem and yet it\’s one that no one has really worked out how to solve: unless you want to start imposing either maximum wages or kill competition between different employers.
Now I realise that I don\’t share much of the lefty bewailing of high incomes to a favoured few: but even if I did, I\’d not be certain that the only possible solution, the imposition of a cartel, would be worth the pain and grief.