The Great Debate UK
“Football is just a business nowadays, isn’t it?”
Well, actually no, it’s not, and it never has been – at least not if a business means an enterprise intended to maximise shareholder value.
In the “good old days” – so called because they were bloody awful – football clubs were financed by a Big Sugar Daddy, often the millionaire who owned the local mill or maybe a small chain of shops in the town.
As Chairman of the Board, he would treat the club as his little indulgence, a rich man’s hobby, an alternative to collecting old masters or old mistresses.
In return, he would behave as if he owned the club (which he did), his name would probably be on the main stand and his real business – the one that generated the money – would advertise in the match programme and on boards around the touchline.
- Jane Foley is research director at Forex.com and blogs regularly for Reuters Great Debate. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in. -
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- Peter Dixon is a guest columnist, the views expressed are his own. He is global financial economist at Commerzbank -
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