Ozy let me write about the outlandish transfer market in European football. Here’s the rub:
For all its waste and hysteria, the European soccer transfer market is relatively open when compared to transfers in major American sports — and perhaps more efficient, too. With five major leagues and more than 100 clubs, Europe is a hotbed of competition for players. In contrast, competition for players among American professional teams is limited and controlled. For instance, because the NFL is the only buyer of top professional football labor in the world, professional football players must ply their trade there. The situation is similar in professional baseball and basketball, where teams mostly just trade player for player. And controls like like salary caps and drafts indirectly suppress or alter the market, largely to the benefit of the leagues.
In the end, transfer-fee splurges by oil tycoons may just be the end result of billions of people, from London pubs-goers to sub-Saharan villagers, being fanatical about European football. As long as billions of zealots around the globe remain crazy about the game, its transfer market will likely only get crazier. It’s a state of affairs that suits the fanatics just fine.
Read the entire thing here.
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