Debate Magazine

The Rules Of Football: Ask a Stupid Question...

Posted on the 11 February 2015 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From City AM:
Sky and BT win Premier League rights: The billions keep pouring in, but do fans benefit from football’s boom?
Well no, fans are the ones paying for it all...
The clearest way that fans benefit from big Premier League TV money is through the quality of players that their teams are able to attract. Last summer’s spending by top flight English clubs eclipsed their supposed peers in rival leagues.
Premier League clubs spent £835m – more than all the Serie A clubs, Bundesliga clubs and Ligue 1 clubs combined. Hull City spent more than several Italian giants added together. Spanish top flight teams spent around half the amount of Premier League clubs.

Yes, but it's not 'quality' in an absolute sense, it is 'quality' in a relative sense. The overall skill level of players reached its zenith decades ago and football clubs are just in a bidding war to sign up he best players they can afford out of the top few hundred best players in the world.
(Greater minds than mine showed that there is a fairly direct correlation between success on the field and paying high player wages, but this could be cause and effect.)
Or: all super-profits/rents accrue to the least elastic factor. And taxes are largely borne by the least elastic factor. In other words, if one country imposed a super-tax on player wages over (say) £100,000 a year, the best players from that country would go abroad (quantity reduced). But if all countries in the world imposed the same super-tax it would all cancel out. The total quantity and quality of players would be unchanged.
This should, in theory, mean better players and better teams. But football’s never quite that straightforward.
Doh! See previous paragraph.

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