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How to solve the football problem!

After that? A review to make sure that they make bigger returns to their communities via tax paid.

It never stops, does it?

The P³ also entirely misses the point of what the superleague is trying to do:

Third, none of these clubs looks to be in a good financial position. The trend is for tiny profit margins on revenue and heavy gearing – meaning most are very vulnerable to debt repayment.

Yes, entirely so, it’s a standard analysis of European sports clubs with leagues and promotion/relegation that near all revenue will flow through to the players who gain the promotion/avoid the relegation. This does not happen in American sports leagues where promotion does not happen and also there’s a hard payroll cap.

What’s really needed?

Some serious debt right off by their owners, for a start.

And some serious pay cuts for players, next.

Then there is a requirement to ensure that they can live within their means – and not require ongoing finance to cover losses as a part of their business model.

Which is exactly what the superleague is trying to do. Introduce the American-style monopolistic positions of the extant teams with a hard payroll cap. Therefore less will flow through to the players, more can be used to pay down debt, provide a profit to owners and reduce the need for continual capital inflows.

This is all known stuff. The Sports Economist did a whole book on it a few years back if memory serves.

So, what’s the P³ recommending? What the superleague is trying to do even as he opposes what the superleague is trying to do. Well done there, well done that man.

10 thoughts on “How to solve the football problem!”

  1. He is veritably the Walt Whitman of Spuds. He contains multitudes of incompatible thoughts in a brain of unparalleled limitedness. He alone has the ability to think outside the box for visionary solutions. The problem is that the box is very small to start with

  2. A thought experiment. Suppose Elon Musk decides he’s really interested in football and, because their name is a bit like his and also because it would piss off Spud, he offers the owners of Ely City Football Club £1 billion to buy their club. He also promises that he will invest billions of pounds to acquire the top talent to the club.

    This would create a “return to the community” in terms of (1) the profit for the club’s owners, (2) the disposable income of the new ECFC stars, who will probably want to go drink expensive champagne in wine bars with the local slappers, (3) community wellbeing when ECFC wins the FA Cup and the Champions League, (4) and not to mention Elon’s extravagant tastes when he decides to drop in for home games.

    Or, you know, if the owners really don’t want any of this, they could always refuse to sell and enjoy languishing in the Eastern Counties League. At least then they might have a leg to stand on when they accuse the owners of ‘greed’.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Good article in the Speccie, I’ll be using some of the arguments to find up Leavers:

    “ Is it possible meaningfully to oppose the decision by Europe’s biggest football clubs to form an unaccountable, anti-democratic Super League if you voted to Remain? The obvious answer is that it’s not. Not that that will stop anyone.

    The proposed Super League is an almost exact sporting distillation of the issues that defined the European Union referendum: the continent’s financial power house football clubs are threatening to carve up immensely lucrative markets while simultaneously shutting down external competition irreversibly.”

  4. Was it The Sports Economist? Szymanski and others have written on it, but I thought the SE was a Yank, given the ongoing theme of US stadia subsidies.

    Anyway, How Not to Form a Cartel 101 has just been delivered, Chelsea and City have defected, but it’s not yet clear what’s going on in Spain or Italy.

  5. I don’t care what the clubs do, it is in the purest sense their business. The public can support it or boycott it, their choice.

    But the idea that the government can or must do something, that somebody should be interfering with the rights of businesses and their workers in one particular circumstance, that is anathema.

  6. And some serious pay cuts for players, next.

    “As good and Progressive socialists we cannot have the people who actually produce the product earning the reward, can we comrades? Most of them are working class and earning colossally more than me, it’s intolerable. I mean, most of them haven’t even been to university!”

  7. He’s not only insane, he’s mutton-headed.

    It’s not often that his Quaker love for his fellow man shines through, is it?

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