Friday, 27 August 2010

The Rabid Capitalist Spirit of the English Premier League

Ohhh baby - the football season has begun. Over at Sports Illustrated, Johnathan Wilson tackles the perennial question about the huge competitive gap between the top and bottom of the English Premier League:
"Watch the television coverage of any English Premier League game between a side near the top of the table and a side near the bottom and you can guarantee that before kickoff one of the pundits will say something along these lines: "The great thing about this league is that on any given day anybody can beat anybody." Except it's not true, not anymore.

This isn't U.S. sports with a franchise system, salary caps, drafts and collective negotiating for TV rights that help to ensure general equality and thus competitiveness. This is the dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself European model, in which the big boys beat up the little kids on a regular basis."
Waitaminute: salary caps, collective negotiation, and general equality? That's not the American capitalist way! A dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself European model? Is this the twilight zone? Or could it be that the English take an "American" approach to sport, whilst the Americans prefer the heavily-regulated "European" way?

I know: that just blew your minds.

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