Big Money, Beautiful Game: Saving Soccer from Itself.

Paul Dempsey & Kevan Reilly



Football has never been richer. Yet the game's new found wealth is proving more of a threat than an opportunity. As the rich clubs get richer, the rest face at best obscurity and at worst bankruptcy. Forget romance, think finance. For promotion and relegation read profit centre and insolvency. It has been a big and, in many ways, necessary change. But if football's bubble bursts, the consequences will affect everyone. The greatest threat to football today is football itself.

Big Money, Beautiful Game analyses what is going wrong as the beautiful game continues on its collision course with big business, and how to put it right. The financial revolution now sweeping through European football had to happen. It has breathed new life into a sport that was bedevilled by hooliganism, a slapdash approach to safety, and corruption. But as a new order takes control of the sport, many claim that the world's most popular sport has leapt out of the frying pan into the fire.

Thanks largely to television there is more money in the game than ever before, but there also seem to be more clubs facing bankruptcy. Even solid sides that appear well equipped for survival can see a small elite of super-rich teams pulling away and threatening to dominate every competition in perpetuity. Both professionals and fans claim the game's new masters know little about the sport, its romance and traditions, and its unique structure in which even the mightiest depend on the minnows.

Instead these interlopers are regarded as smash-and-grab merchants after a quick buck with no real concern that they may leave a sporting wasteland behind them. The reality is far more complex. Football is a professional sport and needs to be run as a business albeit a strange sort of business. Emotive carping has done little to advance the debate and has, if anything, created a classic Us versus Them impasse involving supporters and directors.

Big Money, Beautiful Game maintains a healthy respect for football's history and its importance to fans and society as a whole. But it also argues for a future that balances both sporting and commercial objectives.

Language English
ISBN-10 978-1857882155
ISBN-13 9781857882155
No of pages 304
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Published Date 15 Oct 1998

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