When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

European Soccer: Winning With Money You Don’t Have

The risks of the "financial doping" of Europe's top football leagues.

(Nigel Wilson)

Favilla

The ever-wise Frederic Thiriez, President of France's professional soccer leagues, recently offered a biting observation that deserves attention. Legendary player Michel Platini, who today heads European soccer's governing body UEFA, was presenting a prize to Raymond Kopa, the star French striker of Stade de Reims and Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s. It was the perfect occasion to compare the financial scope of big clubs then and now.

It should be noted that this moving ceremony took place just days after English clubs faced off in a fierce competition to acquire some of the world's most renowned players. Chelsea ended up buying Spanish world champion Fernando Torres for 60 million euros from Liverpool, just as Chelsea was announcing an 82 million euro deficit.

Arsene Wenger, the French coach of Arsenal, one of the other top London clubs, immediately denounced the "financial doping" afflicting the sport. But Thiriez went even further. He said that professional soccer was "heading toward a brick wall if it continued trying to win trophies with money it didn't have."

English soccer has wracked up a huge 4 billion euro debt; in France the sport faces a 150 million euro shortfall; and even German soccer, long thought to be more rigorous about its finances, has accumulated a 100 million euro deficit.

"Winning with money we don't have." Does it remind you of something? Isn't it similar to the futures bets played on financial markets, in which investors hope to make a profit on the forward sale of a product that has not yet been purchased? Thiriez deeply regrets that professional soccer is using the financial markets' most objectionable speculative practices. Platini shares his feeling. We wish them luck in their showdown against the empty billions of European soccer.

Read the original article in French

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

How The Trump Universe Is Backing Bolsonaro’s Reelection Bid In Brazil

Brazil’s Agência Pública reveals that Gettr, the social network run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has sponsored conservative conferences in Brazil ahead of October’s presidential elections, which Steve Bannon has called the most important in South American history.

Bolsonaro and Trump supporters in Brasilia, Brazil

Alice Maciel

Over the past year, the U.S. social network Gettr, run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has been sponsoring political events that support the re-election campaign of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president. The events have been organized by the Instituto Conservador Liberal (ICL), the think tank set up by congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, and Sérgio Sant'Ana, a lawyer and former adviser to the Ministry of Education.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ