Why the sports economy is better than the “real world economy’?
1. Profit is not the goal
Financial profit is not the goal, it’s the means. Profit-based economy makes a lot of the companies think only about making more money, instead of improving the product. In sports it is winning, creating a fan base and improving the product (the team) which makes the goal. Money is just the means which is how it was supposed to be all along.
2. Debt is bad
In “real world economy” debt is money but in reality, sorry – in sports – debt is taking money away from improving the team/product. The only “good debt” is one derived from investment in infrastructure and academies (education). It seems as if sports economists are the only ones who have realized that.
3. Limiting wealth is legitimate
Financial Fair Play, salary caps, luxury tax and revenue sharing are legitimate ideas in sports-economics because they protect the competition and help the fight against monopolies. In “real world economics”, these are considered “communist ideas”. On the other hand, In the “real world” they say “greed is good”, while in the sports economy greed is frowned upon (see Ashley Cole).
4. The cooperative model is a live and kicking
In the sports economy, institutions such as the Bundesliga, Real Madrid or even the Green Bay Packers are owned by the supporters. They are considered stable yet innovative, profitable yet social. It is impossible for one individual to buy them. The cooperative model is a great model for sports as it has been well proven in the Bundesliga. In “real world economics” this model is considered un-capitalistic, un-realistic and “old fashioned”, just because it’s not giving the power to a financial dictator.
5. Education is king
In sports investment in youth is an accepted way to improve a team’s fortunes, and the correlation between investment in youth and success is clear to see. On top of that, serious clubs make a lot of effort to improve that investment and try to find new ways to produce excellent, creative players, who will help them compete in the league (the market). In “real world economics” the education systems are old fashioned and countries cut down school projects to fund bank-bailouts, while failing to understand that education holds the key to life-improvement and economic prosperity.
6. It’s all so very clear
In sports economy one point is one point gained, a win equals three points and a trophy is silver or gold. Everything is clear and real. In “real-world economics” a bank can loan 12 dollars for each dollar it actually has, and the U.S federal bank is as federal as Federal Express. Yeah, nothing’s really clear or real.
7. Investment in workers
In “real” economics investing less in your workers means more profits, which is why companies love doing exactly that, and outsource all kinds of services. In sports economics, decreasing investment in your workers (players and coaches) means less wins which means clubs HAVE to invest more in their workers. You can’t outsource a goalkeeper, can you?
8. No monopolies are allowed
You can’t be the owner of two teams in the same league. That’s obvious because it creates clear conflict of interests. In “real world economics” one man or one “holding company” can control many companies and not have it perceived as “conflict of interests”. One man can control a media company that needs to cover and report about his own businesses and everyone seems fine with it. Oh, and that same man is also friends with the other “men” who control the market. The “free market” is actually an oligarchy.
9. Marketing is just a tool
Marketing can’t cover up anything in sports. What’s nice aboutÂ football is that if you’re not doing what you are supposed to do you
simply lose, and no sophisticated marketing campaigns can cover up the criticism by the fans, journalists and opponents. In “real” economics you can invest more in marketing than in the actual product (see cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries) and still get plenty of cash. Huge companies are making money by selling products that don’t actually work due to effective marketing. I can’t see Manchester United doing that. The “real” economy is not effective, while the sports economy must be effective see Moneyball.
10. It’s about the team
It’s about the team, not the individual. Capitalists say that this system is the most compatible to human nature. That’s bullshit. Man is
the fifth ape, and apes live in groups. Besides, most mammals live in prides, and they survive and reproduce due to that fact. No creatureÂ needs to have 170 luxury cars to survive. In team-sports an individual can’t win on his own – the collective wins games. Even the best playerÂ must understand the collective nature of his sport in order to win.
11. It’s human nature (and good fun!)
Excessive consumption of anything is harmful to any organic system. The capitalistic system is based on unstoppable growth and excessive consumption, hence it’s not organic. You can say a lot of things about sports economy it’s commercialized and sometimes corrupt as hell, but underneath all the layers sports is the most organic thing around. It is humanity at its worst and best.