What Rooney tells us about football

No, it isn\’t, as Jim White tells us, simply an outbreak or manifestation of greed. Nor is it that some chav is getting above himself, not knowing his place in the scheme of things (recall, we used to have maximum wages in football, to make sure such a shocking thing never happened).

It\’s a simple effect of the structure of the business. When you\’ve a business which depends upon human talent, slight gradations in said talent, then all the money in the business will end up in the hands of said talent. This is as true of banking as it is football, movies or, dare I say it, the writing of books.

Those who have that extra 10%, 1% even, will see their prices bid up as the moneymen compete with each other to employ that extra 10%, 1% of talent.

It\’s analagous as to why the workers\’ wages in general rise over time. As productivity rises then the capitalists are competing among themselves for the ability to employ that now newly more valuable labour. Thus wages in general get bid up.

Banking, football and movies are simply extreme examples of the general rule. And the only way to stop it is to have some version of monopsony: where there are not different employers bidding up the wages.

5 thoughts on “What Rooney tells us about football”

  1. No, I think that football is an even more extreme case than banking. Being second best bank is a wonderfully enriching experience, especially as one can probably be best for some aspect of the job while being second best for some other, but being second best football side means that you are not the champions. In leagues and cups only coming top really matters. In almost all the rest of the economy, that’s much less true. Come to think of it, football is probably more like some computing businesses (Microsoft/ QDOS/Windows?) than like banking.

  2. Paul, I agree – I would have thought the sportsman’s or banker’s lot was the socialist’s dream – returns going back to labour.

    Funny how you never hear the likes of Dererk Simpson, or Barber or that lot, when banging on about banker’s bonuses, ever say whether they would be for or against their own members getting paid that way. It is an obvious question that seems deliberately avoided.

    I have also wondered whether it is the football thing which is the killer against any High Pay Commission. If we have such a commission, all jobs would presumably have to be included given they are all part of the web of the labour force. If you exclude one occupation it would have a distorting knock on effect on related jobs and eventually every job – six degrees of separation and all that.

    And as soon as you tell a politician that a high pay commission would prevent his beloved United/Rovers/City/Albion/Town/Wanderers from buying the best players, ideological conviction goes out the window.

  3. Good point, Paul. I could not agree more.

    That does not, of course, address the perhaps more emotional issue here, which is that Rooney appears to be a rather uncouth individual who does not, at least at the moment, appear to be playing all that well. His showing in the World Cup, and few games for ManU, do not suggest he is perhaps worth what he thinks he is.

  4. Tim,
    I was thinking the same thing when I was watching Ian Holloway’s rant against the “people who run football”

    I was thinking: “you’re ranting against the invisible hand, it can’t be ranted at”

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