An Apologia for Athletic Aristocracy

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Conor P. Williams

Conor Williams on Twitter. More background here.

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  1. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
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    says:

    I haven’t actually seen any proposals from UEFA beyond Financial Fairplay that would actually impact equality in any meaningful sense.

    Speaking as a Chelsea supporter, I’m also unhappy with the quality of play in the Premiership this season. For all the money we spent, the money everyone else spent, the quality of play has been decidedly mediocre. This is especially true at the European level.

    The level of play in La Liga as a whole is substantially better, even despite the terrible inequality of TV revenues. Valencia, Atletico, Athletic, Malaga, Levante…all of these clubs if they played in England would compete for the top 4. If they actually had a fair share of their TV revenues for the league, they’d probably be able to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid, rather than merely staying afloat each year by selling their best players to United, or Chelsea, or City.

    But the bigger problem is sustainability. Too many clubs are losing money from the fact that the rich keep getting richer and the poor have a fraught existence. The gap in revenue between European competition eligible teams and the next rung down is staggering. The revenue gap guarantees that the weak will remain weak and even local support isn’t enough to keep some of these teams out of bankruptcy.

    The fact that even an old school, Scottish powerhouse like Rangers can go into receivership tells us that the health of the game is simply not good. Inequality will eventually breed reduced interest (like SPL) and end up gutting the financial foundations of the teams.

    The future of European soccer will look more like the Bundesliga and less like La Liga. And that is actually a good thing.Report

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