Saturday\’s soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City of the English Premier League, a game known as the \”Manchester Derby,\” is likely to be played in the sort of bleak and drizzly weather conditions one might expect.

But this won\’t be just another regularly-scheduled whistle stop on the British soccer calendar. It will be the richest match played in any sport, at any time, anywhere on the planet Earth.

According to analyst estimates, team statements and media reports, the players on the field and on the two benches in the Manchester Derby will have cost their teams roughly $850 million to acquire, or about as much as NASA spent to refurbish the Hubble Telescope.

15 thoughts on “Interesting…..”

  1. Surely F1 at some point must’ve had the most expensive event? A few years ago it wasn’t unheard of for the top teams to be spending close to half a billion per year. That’s for about 18 races, compared to however many football matches there are in a season.

  2. Rob : The English called it ‘soccer’ (from shortening the ‘Assoc.’ in the name Association Football) in equal measure to ‘football’ since the game was invented, only sticking with the latter name from about the mid 20th century. Many other countries continued to use the older, arguably original name.

    The fact that we decided to change what we call the game doesn’t make us right. And it doesn’t make people who call it ‘soccer’ wrong.

  3. The Guardian called it soccer until 1997. I think it gradually fell out of favour because of the decline of rugby, which meant there was less confusion over using the term football. In the US that still exists.

  4. It was called “soccer” in private schools to differentiate it from rugby, or “rugger” as they called it. Most people in England have always called it football or “footy”.

  5. There used to be Association Football and Rugby Football, shortened to Soccer and Rugger. The international dominance of the former led to it capturing the common name.

  6. Chris:

    That’s exactly why we Americans find Brit humor, well, so humorous (and “interesting,” if you insist).

  7. If all this money was blown on a single 90 minutes then this would be true. Unless all players end up with such serious injuries that this is the final match of their careers, then this will not be the case. Under normal circumastances you would have to look at the net loss of value in a game – which would be less than 1% of the value.
    If you look at the last Olympics in China and the retained value after the event, then the depreciation in asset value would have been well over 50% of the outlay – and that is for buildings that last far longer than the 5 to 10 years for players at the peak of their careers.

  8. The tragedy is that, unlike the Hubble, neither of the teams is likely to burn up on re-entry. However it is widely reported that Rooney’s head contains a hard vacuum.

  9. Simon – A few years back he total budget for the teams combined was about $2.5bn depending on what factor you use to determine the cost it may be more or less than football I guess.

    However, at least F1 does produce something of value every now and again, not for a while admittedly, mostly because the restrictive rules hamper invention. If the FIA would impose a fuel usage limit but allow the teams to build any engine they choose then we might see more rapid progress in the area of fuel efficiency.

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