Football has developed its own economy, with its own inflation rate. While the real world is looking down the back of the sofa, football burns money for a laugh – literally in the cases of some especially offensive players. A socialist sport has become an orgy of unashamed, self-congratulatory avarice.

I do agree that football is socialist. In one sense at least – the competition means that all the revenues and more flow through to the workers. With rare exceptions owning a club is the way to consume, not make, capital.

But assume you are a socialist and think that the workers getting the cash is a good thing. What’s wrong with them getting more?

23 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. While the real world is looking down the back of the sofa

    The unrelenting narrow-mindedness of the Modern Progressive.

    The colossal sums of money come via TV, but from the rise in global living standards. And not just football; the IPL would have been unimaginable and impossible 20 years ago.

  2. Exactly, it is fantastic the producers get the lions share of the money.

    This is a good thing. I for one am mightly suspicious of anyone who barks about footballers being overpaid compared to the rest of society. It comes from two things: jealousy and/or a middle class ‘intelligentsia’ disdain for commerce and the fact people ‘dumber’ than them earn more than they do for their creative and fullfilling but low value careers.

  3. “It is hard to see how this greed-is-good culture can be arrested”… I note it is assumed that it must be. Which is weird, since the player side of things seems to be one of the most transparent markets in existence.

    @jack c, exactly, and not just in straight spending by fans. As broadcast (and publication) extends it’s reach, audiences consolidate around fewer, bigger games.

  4. How does someone write a book called “How football sold it’s soul” without understanding the business?

    As you say, it’s a plaything business of people buying clubs where being top is all that matters, which means that there’s an arms race for the best talent. This isn’t like movies where being 20th in the biggest grossing movies can also work, because you did it with low costs (like Woody Allen or Kevin Smith).

  5. Footballers are obviously not overpaid. They’re made offers by consenting adults, and what they sign-on for is exactly what they’re worth. By definition.

    You can make a case that some footballers are under-paid. The very best need the endless feeder leagues and hoofing non-entities to highlight just how rare the major stars are. Not a clear case though.

    Note: a very similar sum was transferred from the Scott Trust to the Guardian’s employees last year. No one seems to be complaining.

  6. If “you” are a socialist you should be trying to reconcile your sanctimonious bullshit with the millions of murders perpetrated by your death-cult. Never mind fucking football.

  7. The threat to football’s socialist paradise comers (of course) from evil would-be cartel capitalists.

    Not all owners are alike. The trophy- and glory-seekers (oligarchs, Arab ruling families etc) are dominant for now. However, there are also more commercially-minded (often US) owners.
    There is an argument that variants of the ‘football has sold its soul’ line are being supported tacitly by the more commercially-minded owners. Their ultimate goal is an agreed global NFL-style team salary cap. This would be put in place to ‘restore competitive balance’, ‘give football back its soul’, etc – and would also shift a lot of the rent coming into the game from the players to the owners.

  8. They are overwhelmingly working class and ‘uneducated’ (as a Guardian writer would define the term), yet earning money said writer could only dream of.

    Hence the condescension, snobbery and genuine hatred.

  9. @Mr Ecks

    If “you” are a socialist you should be trying to reconcile your sanctimonious bullshit with the millions of murders perpetrated by your death-cult. Never mind *insert whatever leftie is droning on about here*

    Cracking. I think I’m going to end up using that.

  10. Most of the money in football comes from various forms of customer: the spectators; the TV channels. Various clubs have been kept alive over generations by local supporters .That you think they are “owned” by yobbo-capitalists like Mike Ashley, of have your baby in the toilets fame, is sad.

  11. “Most of the money in football comes from various forms of customer”: golly, what an aperçu. As distinct from coming from, say, Mars.

  12. The salary cap system is usually linked to revenue, as I recall the NHL cap is based on a % of revenue the league as a whole makes. The stated aim is to stop the top teams hoovering up the best players, though in reality it’s more about trying to stop teams go bust and make the franchises worthwhile investments for the owners.

  13. DBC encapsulates what’s wrong with leftish, and much rightish thinking:

    a) It’s all terrible
    b) There’s a simple solution, but no one gets on with it
    c) This must mean malice on the part of those responsible
    d) Anyone who doesn’t agree is malicious, or a paid stooge of the malicious

    In the unlikely event of a Corbyn election victory, the splits, recriminations and protests will begin within the week.

  14. It seems about 50%+ of Premier League revenue goes on footballers wages. Where does the rest go?
    Re above: I do not see why an organisation that is basically “a club” should be in the sole control of one football – ignorant man.
    I write from Northampton where the football club came under the control of the son of Stock Market character (see Private Eye) Tony Cardoza. Rights to many acres of publicly owned land were up for grabs and millions of pounds provided by the local council disappeared leading to a ,so far, futile investigation by the local Fraud Squad. I do not consider any of this arrangement natural and God given, as most on here do.The irony is that the idea of Supporter Trust ownership originated in Northampton, with Brian Lomax.

  15. Slow down DBC.

    Why does private ownership of football clubs cause council money to disappear in a possibly fraudulent manner? What’s the connection?

    Who, “on here”, has said that this sort of thing is “natural and God given”?

  16. “Most of the money in football comes from various forms of customer”

    Freely exchanged without coercion or threats. I don’t own Waitrose just because I shop there.

  17. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “I do not see why an organisation that is basically “a club” should be in the sole control of one football – ignorant man.”

    ‘Cos he fucking paid for it?

  18. A club is where people club their resources together to enjoy something–a hobby or whatever.

    That is mostly how football got started in modern times.

    Most Football Clubs are no longer clubs in anything but name.

    Also DBC, council pricks should not even exist let alone be shoving taxpayers money (cos “rates” are a tax on living under socialist dominion) up any handy commercial orifice the way they presently do.

    What are self-respecting crims to do when they see so many brainless mugs, laden with pre-stolen cash, hove into view?

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