Does Manchester City prove you can buy success?

So Manchester City won the Premiership yet again. Four in a row has been widely trumpeted, and it is also six out of the last seven. But this is just the most obvious aspect of the increasing concentration of success in football amongst a handful of clubs. In the past seven seasons, the top two […]

If you can build a football team, you can advance the fortunes of poor nations

In Qatar, there has been a storm over its treatment of women, the LGBT community, and other minorities. But it has also, in another way, been the most egalitarian World Cup. What used to be called “upsets”, with notionally weaker teams beating their alleged superiors have almost become the norm. So, Cameroon beat Brazil, Tunisia […]

Sprinkling local football clubs with money won’t make them sustainable endeavours

The domestic football season has come to a dramatic close, with two sides from the North West jostling for the title and four London teams competing frantically for the coveted spots in Europe. Since its inception, clubs from these two areas have dominated the Premiership, especially over the past twenty years.   Perhaps it is something […]

From Covid deaths to Usain Bolt: statistics are never black and white

Who is the greatest 100 metre male runner of all time? The answer seems obvious, even if you lack sporting common knowledge, it is only a quick Google search away.  Usain Bolt’s time of 9.58 seconds is unchallenged. Both Tyson Gaye and Yohan Blake are quite away behind with records of 9.69. This year’s Olympic […]

Economic theory can offer a lesson to struggling football clubs

In Memory of Bury FC

The expulsion of Bury FC from the English Football League last week continues to generate a huge amount of sound and fury.   Regardless of the apparently dodgy nature of some of Bury’s transactions, the simple fact is that the club overspent massively in order to gain promotion from League Two last season. The surge […]

You can’t take the economics out of football

Baku Olympic Stadium

The appearance of Liverpool and Spurs in the Champions League final and Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa Cup one has generated massive interest. But the official ticket prices for the games are surprisingly reasonable. Liverpool and Spurs have been offered 16,613 tickets each. Five per cent of these are expensive, at £513 each. A […]

The economic answer behind superstar salaries

Twickenham Stadium

Rugby Union’s Premiership season is underway again. This is yet another professional sport which operates on the principles of socialism: the money all ends up in the pockets of what we might call the “workers”. In a sport which was allegedly only played by amateurs until the mid-1990s, earnings have boomed. The average salary in […]

From supply and demand to game theory, football is full of economics lessons

Premier League Football

The football transfer window closes tomorrow, and the opening days of August have seen the usual flurry of activity at all levels. The window in the rest of Europe stays open until the end of the month. Do we detect here the hands of Monsieur Barnier, in another dastardly European Commission plot to do us […]

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