New release: Football Business
Players’ whopping wages, ludicrous transfer fees, and escalating ticket prices frequently hit the headlines when it comes to football. But there is far more to football’s finances than this, claims Tsjalle van der Burg, author of Football business.
Football business will be available to buy from 1st September 2014, transfer deadline day. The book shows how the economics of European football have developed to the point where the structure of the business of football is now at odds with the game itself and the fans it was originally created for.
An economist at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and a football enthusiast, Van der Burg exposes the hidden face of football’s finances and shows how the economics of this beautiful game have gradually taken it out of the reach of enthusiasts and into the hands of entrepreneurs. In Football business, he unveils the key forces at play in today’s most followed sport and points an accusatory finger at commercialism and greed, which have come to shape the current nature of the game.
In a series of engaging and topical stories, van der Burg rattles the cage of football and gradually exposes the inequalities of the current system; he brings to light the weaknesses of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, takes a stand against pay TV and reveals how, in a global market for sponsorship and television rights, the competition amongst clubs is fiercer off the pitch than on it. His criticism of players’ inflated salaries is underpinned by solid economic principles, which expose the gap between their financial worth and their astronomical wages. At the centre of the book is Van der Burg’s desire for a redemption of the game; his call for a lowering of footballers’ pay and a redistribution of the surplus in the community is as much animated by philanthropy as by his passion for football.
Van der Burg’s plea for a prompt rectification of European football’s off the pitch rules takes centre stage in the latter part of the book. A ‘robust system of financial control’ to bring football back to its most honourable days must be introduced, argues van der Burg. While ‘many things are wrong with the EU’ he adds, ‘it’s the only body with the power to bring football back to the people.’ But whether the EU will be willing to revive football’s honour is still uncertain. ‘Will the fans walk alone’, asks the author? The answer, he suggests, depends very much on whether those in control are prepared to depart from their current path.
Dr Tsjalle van der Burg teaches economics at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He has a special interest in popularizing economics and has published on economic subjects in national newspapers and spoken on radio and television. Van der Burg is a lifetime supporter of Feyenoord.