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SBD Global/June 19, 2013/International Football

U.S. Sports Management Professor Discusses Economy Of Football In Europe

University of Michigan Sports Management Professor Stefan Szymanski led an academic conference on football and the economy in Barcelona in collaboration with FC Barcelona, according to Sebastián Garavelli of EL PAIS. Soccernomics, a book studying the relation between football and the economy, was published 13 years ago by Szymanski and Simon Kuper. Szymanski addressed a number of topics, including the competitive balance of La Liga. Szymanski: "The nature of football is competitive, the objective of Barcelona or Real Madrid is to win athletically. The obsession is to triumph in competition. The function is different from the economy on a larger scale, where big businesses are not as interested in competition." Asked to identify the biggest problem, Szymanski said, "The gap between the powerful clubs and those that are not as powerful. Here in Spain the income of the powerful clubs is thousands of times superior to that of the other teams, and this is repeated throughout Europe. There are competitions that do not explain how and why this exists" (EL PAIS, 6/17).
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