Dave Boyle, the author of The High Pay Centre’s new report “Football Mad: Are We Paying More for Less?”, writes that “since the creation of the Premier League in 1992, top footballers’ salaries have mushroomed, rising by 1508% to 2010.
He notes that “the amount spent by clubs on wages has also increased dramatically. The percentage of turnover spent on players has increased, from 48% of turnover in 1997, up to 70% in 2011.”
While footballers and agents got richer and richer, since 1992 over half of England’s professional football clubs have been formally insolvent.
So what happened really?
I’ll try to simplify.
There were no regulations because of an neo-liberal government policy.
Because of the lack of regulation, very rich men came into football only because of egoistical reasons (trophy glory, political capital, or the fulfillment of childhood dreams).
Because of their ego, the very rich men wanted to win above everything else and started looking for short-cuts to glory – which led to fierce competition over the best players.
This led to an economic system in football that encourages overinvestment and extreme risk-taking in order to win games, far beyond economic sense.
This led to higher prices for everyone (because it needs to make “economic sense” for the rich men).
This led to less people being able to be part of football.
This will lead to all kind of things – no one can predict.
Anyhow, in the current climate, English football can’t grow organically. It is now dependent on the money of rich men who came into it because of lack of regulation, and not just invested a lot of their own money in the game – but turned it into the game for the rich and disconnect from its working class roots.
We all know what happens to something that is disconnected from its roots – it withers.
The solution? Regulation.
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