A top-to-bottom look at England’s national game, from one of the UK’s leading business economists.
The Premier League is the most commercially successful football league in history, the self-proclaimed ‘best league in the world’. But success has come at a cost, unbalancing the English game to a profound and damaging degree.
Football’s stumbling response to COVID-19 and the European Super League disaster are just the most recent examples. It is estimated that more than two thirds of the country’s 92 professional clubs are loss-making; payments to agents each year regularly total more than the combined income of all 44 clubs in Leagues 1 and 2; supporters have been squeezed to the limit; racist incidents are on the rise; grassroots facilities are in a dreadful state; and failed World Cup bids have severely weakened England’s standing in the global game. The national team’s performance at Euro 2020 can’t paper over the cracks.
There is an alternative. In this revealing and eye-opening analysis, leading economist Mark Gregory reveals the breadth and depth of the problems facing our national men’s game, and shows us a way to bring football home for good.