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The Failure Of The European Superleague Means We Need EU And Bureaucratic Control Of Sports

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There’s a certain misunderstanding of the way that markets work here. But then of course the argument is coming from France where they don’t particularly understand such things anyway. It’s unkind but not entirely untrue to insist that Bastiat was the last Frenchman who understood economics.

The European Superleague was an attempt to create a cartel of sports teams. To replicate the American system whereby owners are, through the restriction of competition, able to extract significant profits from their ownership of sports teams. This didn’t strike all that many – other than the owners of the sports teams that would be involved – as being all that good an idea.

OK, fair enough, the idea then died entirely within two days of its announcement. That would seem to be that. Except, of course, it isn’t:

France urged the European Commission to assume new powers to regulate football yesterday amid fallout across the continent from the unravelling the Super League plan.

This is to entirely misunderstand how markets work.

President Macron’s ministers seized on the row to press their case for the EU to wrench football in particular and sport in general out of the hands of capitalists and to place it under bureaucratic control. Roxana Maracineanu, the sports minister, said that the French system, which involves administrative supervision of sporting federations, should be extended across the EU. “We have to invent at a European level a special relationship between the EU and the sporting movement,” she said.

Well, yes, again that French thing of not understanding the liberty of markets.

So let us strip this right back to basics. Some folks floated a bad idea. Because everyone was free to engage, or not engage, with the idea and its promoters the idea failed within 48 hours. Bad idea suffers a painful death and that’s the end of that.

All of which is proof of the efficacy of markets free of bureaucratic control, isn’t it? The rapid death and bankruptcy of a stupid idea is a benefit of the system that caused that looming rigor mortis.

Think on for a moment. Given that there’s only us humans around here to have ideas there is going to be a consistent stream of right stinkers being proposed. What we desire – need – is a system that shoots down the bad ones and allows the very few good to prosper. What do we have in evidence here? That the current system of economic liberty does that for us.

Which is why the French propose that we must abandon it see above about Bastiat. But there’s no reason for the rest of us to go insane along with them.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The obvious solution is to leave things as they are.

    If it turns out the French system is better, it can always be adopted later. If it turns out the French system is worse, the French can always scrap it – ok, ok, I’m joking here.

    If it turns out that neither system makes much difference, everyone can do as they please. This is of course what I prefer, but no doubt the EU’d have hysterics.

  2. Good luck to the French (and Brussels) taking on UEFA.

    Which has members that are not part of the EU. Including one rather large one.

  3. I am amazed that people want to have the gov’t take over more of our lives because of football. Really, you want more bureaucrats, more excuses to micromanage us because you’re afraid your favorite team might end up in the 2nd tier?

    People will sell their freedom away bit by bit for the most trifling things.

  4. The huge advantage of the bureaucratic way is that stinkers don’t get shot down and we are left with an enduring sense of the rightness of politicians.

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