## Concentration ratio of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A

Part of the CIE A2 syllabus deals with the concentration ratio and by good fortune a recent edition of The Economist schools brief looked at this area. The concentration ratio is the percentage of market share taken up by the largest firms. It could be a 3 firm concentration ratio (market share of 3 biggest) or 5 firms concentration ratio. Concentration ratios are used to determine the market structure and competitiveness of the market. The most commonly used are 4, 5 or 8 firm concentration ratios which measure the proportion of the market’s output provided by the largest 4, 5 or 8 firms.

Example of a hypothetical concentration ratioThe following are the annual sales, in \$m, of the six firms in a hypothetical market:
Firm A = 56 – Firm B = 43 – Firm C = 22 – Firm D = 12 – Firm E = 3 – Firm F = 1

In this hypothetical case, the 3-firm concentration ratio is 88.3%, that is 121/137 x 100.

HHI and European Football
However, we can apply a similar calculation to measure the concentration of football league championships. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) was originally developed to measure the concentration of firms in an industry, but it has been used in football. To work out the HHI (see equation) you count the number of championships a team won (Ci) within a given time period, dividing by the number of years in the period (N), squaring the fraction, and adding the fractions for all teams.

If the HHI is a maximum 1 this indicates a perfect imbalance and one team has been champion for all years. The minimum HHI value is 0.1 and this means that there has been a different winner each year. Below is the HHI in various European leagues between 2012-13 to 2021-22.

Distribution of championships in European Leagues – 2012-13 to 2021-22 (10 years)

From the above table this to the big football leagues in Europe we see that the distribution of championships is high skewed toward a few dominant teams. In all four leagues one team has won at least 5 championships over the 10 years with Bayern Munich being totally dominant in the Bundesliga winning all 10 – HHI = 1. In a lot of cases the runner-up in these leagues is also featured as a championship winner. La Liga and the EPL had two teams that were 1st or 2nd in most years – Barcelona or Real Madrid, Manchester City or Liverpool. To the extent that teams can ‘buy championships’ because they have more revenue than their competitors, differences in market size and team popularity may be to blame. The EPL is the most balanced of the league with a HHI = 0.32 with La Liga HHI = 0.38. This lack of competitive balance combined with the extraordinary popularity of European football provides additional evidence that fans may be less concerned with the competitive balance that one might think.

Source: The Economics of Sport (2018) – M. Leeds, P. Von Allmen and V. Matheson

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## Most Premier League clubs make as much money as a branch of IKEA

With the recent World Cup in Qatar I thought I would share this post again on the Economics of Football. The David McWilliams podcast entitled ‘The Economics of Football’ in which he interviews Simon Kuper of Soccernomics fame, is particularly insightful. What he basically says is that the vast majority of clubs are not businesses and are not trying to make profits. They are pursuing trophies and with this intention spend what money they do make on buying the best players. If you look at the teams in the four English Divisions in 1921 there has been little change even when some clubs go bankrupt. As they are fan based institutions they seem to be unaffected by things like debt in a normal business. For example if a club (limited company) goes bankrupt you discard the old company and form a new limited company changing the name of the club (ABC City to ABC United) but playing at the same ground with the same strip etc. To put it in perspective a typical Premier League club is the size of a branch of IKEA.

Football clubs are huge emotional brands but not very big businesses. For example in 2019 Barcelona was the first club to made over \$1bn in revenue but that equates to 0.02% of what Walmart made that year. The problem that football clubs have is how to monetise that passion for the club without affecting their fan base.

Bundesliga should be the richest league in Europe?
When you look at the economic indicators of the German economy – population size, income levels, GDP growth etc – it should be the league with the most money. Why is this not the case? The German FA doesn’t want foreign money coming into their clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain etc. Also the German Bundesliga has a rule that over 50% of a club must be controlled by its supporters.

New breed of foreign owners and European Super League
The owners of Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal are more focused on making money out of the football club compared to others – Man City, Chelsea, PSG – whose owners want success at the expense of profit. This new breed of owner has come under a lot of pressure from the club’s supporters in that some are borrowing money to buy the club and then taking money out. Take for instance Man United – in the 5 years up to 2020, no owners in the Premier League have taken out more money than Man Utd £133m (dividends £112m, share buy back £21m). In stark contrast, some owners have put in significant funds: Everton £348m, Aston Villa £337m and Chelsea £255m – see graphic.

You can therefore see why some owners were keen on the European Super League. The proposed ESL was all but free-market capitalism with an American style franchise system with 12 teams guaranteed a place in the competition – significant barriers to entry and not conducive to competition. So much for Joseph Schumpeter’s creative destruction with a group of elite clubs protecting their market and the owners being rentier capitalists. The ESL’s proposed move is similar to what has been happening in the market place – a structure of businesses taking huge debt and taking little interest in competition as long as they are making money. Manchester United, probably the most famous club in the world, got knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage in 2021 but are still making a lot of money for the owners. It seems that the desire to win trophies has been superseded by profit – the proposed ESL avoids competition as member clubs are protected against the risk of failure. Not to say this is not already happening as the EPL and many other leagues in Europe are dominated by a small number of clubs which have significant funds available.

## World Cup 2022 action bias and penalty kicks – is it best if the goalkeeper does nothing?

With the World Cup approaching the semi final stage and games being decided on penalties I thought it would be appropriate to look at the psychology of penalty kicks. Would goalkeepers be better not moving when facing a penalty?

Action bias is a situation where we would rather be seen doing something than doing nothing. This has been the case in numerous government elections as the voting population like to see some action from politicians when in some cases the best option is to let the economy run its course. President Nixon (US President 1969-74) was a great one for doing something even though it would have been better to do nothing – I refer to the wage and price controls introduced in 1971 – the controls produced food shortages, as meat disappeared from supermarket shelves and farmers drowned chickens rather than sell them at a loss. So when the economy is doing badly the government maybe tempted to intervene, even if the risks associated with the changes not necessarily outweigh the possible benefits. Furthermore if an economy is doing well policy makers may feel that they shouldn’t do anything even though the changes could improve the economy further.

According to classical assumptions in economics, when people face decision problems involving uncertainty, they should choose what to do according to their utility from the possible outcomes and the probability distribution of outcomes that follows each possible action. Bar-Eli, Azar, Ritov, Keidar-Levin, & Schein, 2007

In a 2007 study, Michael Bari-Eli at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, analyzed 286 professional soccer penalty kicks. They discovered that goalkeepers almost always jump right or left because the norm is to jump — a preference for action (”action bias”). The goalkeepers jumped to the left 49.3% of the time, to the right 44.4% of the time, but stayed in the centre only 6.3% of the time. Analysis revealed that the kicks went to the left 32.2%, to the right 39.2% and to the centre 28.7% of the time. This means that the goalkeepers were much more likely to stop a kick if they had just stayed put – see table below.

The table above suggests that the decisions taken by the kicker and goalkeeper are made roughly simultaneously. The fact that the directions of the kick and the jump match in 43% of kicks rather than in 0% or 100% of the kicks suggests that neither kicker nor goalkeeper can clearly observe what the other chose when choosing their action.

A goalkeepers’ decision making.

In order to suggest a best option for goalkeepers it is necessary to examine the probability of stopping the ball following each combination of kick and jump directions. The table below presents the average saving chances using the formula

Number of penalty kicks saved ÷ Number of penalty kicks x 100

Jumping left = 20 ÷ 141 x 100 = 14.2%
Staying Centre = 6 ÷ 18 x 100 = 33.3%
Jumping right = 16 ÷ 127 x 100 = 12.6%

The research conclusions state that goalkeepers jump to the right or the left during penalty kicks more than they should. In analysing the 286 kicks Bar-Eli et al show that while the utility-maximising behaviour for goalkeepers is to stay in the goal’s centre during the kick, in 93.7% of the kicks the goalkeepers chose to jump to their right or left. This non-optimal behaviour suggests that a bias in goalkeeper’ decision making might be present. The reason that they suggest is ‘action bias’. However you also need to look at the psychological aspects of a goalkeeper. Former Arsenal and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said that he never liked to stay in the centre as it might look to the fans that he wasn’t trying. Although he would be in a good position to save a penalty that was kicked down the centre, he would feel a lot worse if he stayed in the centre and the ball went into the goal either side of him.

Sources:

Bar-Eli, M., Azar, O. H., Ritov, I., Keidar-Levin, Y., & Schein, G. (2007). Action Bias Among Elite Soccer Goalkeepers: The Case of Penalty Kicks. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28(5), 606-621.

https://workplacepsychology.net/2018/09/02/an-action-bias-can-be-counterproductive/

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## Qatar and the economic significance of hosting the world cup

Very good video from The Economist about Qatar hosting the most expensive World Cup ever – approximately \$300bn. Why has this small, gas-rich kingdom chosen to host football’s most prestigious event, and how does it fit into its broader plans for economic transformation? The video below explains the history behind Qatar,

The tournament is a big deal for a country that has fewer than three million residents. For the 2018 tournament, held in Russia, football’s governing body, FIFA, says more than one billion people tuned in to watch at least some of the final game between France and Croatia. However, academic research into the economic impact of hosting the World Cup suggests any advantages gained are at best hard to perceive and at worst non-existent. Since it won the bid to host Qatar has built eight new stadiums, more roads, hospitals and a new metro system. However the criticisms on human rights are not going away.

For Andrew Zimbalist, the author of Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, the evidence is clear: “There is virtual unanimity in the scholarship that on the question of the economic impact of mega events, they don’t promote economic development.”

## World Cup Hosts, Winners and Political/Economic Systems

Keeping with the World Cup theme, I read a very interesting book a few years ago by Franklin Foer entitled “How Soccer Explains the World” in which he outlines that soccer is not merely a pastime but often an expression of the social, economic, political, and racial composition of the communities that host both the teams and their throngs of enthusiastic fans. I thought it worthwhile to look at the past hosts, winners of the World Cup and the political/economic system that prevailed in these countries at the time.

Source: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup.

Command Systems not so successful.

According to Foer the Communist countries have the better of the results against the non-communist countries. Played 118 Won 46, Drawn 32, Lost 40. However a Communist country has yet to win the World Cup. He suggests that the reasons for this are as follows:

1. Coaches thought that science could provide the information to win games – i.e. evaluating teams on the number of passes, tackles, shots etc. This might work in athletics or gymnastics but doesn’t include the individual skill and risk-taking involved in winning games.
2. The harsh conditions of communism also meant that a lot of players defected to other countries that were more democratic.

Fascism as a driving force

The existence and adoration of a single, omnipotent leader is conceivably the best known characteristic of fascist governments. In Italy Benito Mussolini was always seeking to use popular culture in his quest to grasp authority and to convert Italian society, and sport was a key part of this strategy. Fascists took control of football in Italy and by the mid-1920s had proceeded to revolutionise the game, building stadiums all over the peninsula and creating a national team which was to dominate the international game for four years, winning two World Cups (1934 and 1938) and an Olympic gold medal.

Under leader Francisco Franco, Spain was also a fascist regime although it was described as an autocracy rather than a totalitarian state like those of Italy and Germany. This might explain why Spain’s fascist dictatorship endured from the 1940s into the 1970s. Franco was an avid Real Madrid supporter and, according to some, the regime provided decisive aid in the club’s signing of the best player of the fifties, the Argentine Alfredo Di Stefano, even though Barcelona had already agreed terms with him. Franco viewed the triumphs of Real Madrid and of the Spanish national team as in some way
his own.

However he did face serious opposition from the Basques and the clubs Athletico Bilbao and Real Sociedad were the only venues where the Basque people could express their cultural pride without ending up in jail. In the south of the country FC Barcelona was the heroic centre of the resistance to Franco’s military dictatorships. Their home ground, Camp Nou, provided an environment for Catalans to voice their strong disapproval of Franco’s military dictatorship.

Brazil – 5 World Cup wins.

Brazil is the most successful country in terms of performances in the World Cup. Three out of their five World Cup wins have come about under military/fascist regimes. Also Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s achieved soccer’s golden prize under the watchful eye of the fascist generals. Since 1934, no fewer than seven World Cups have been won by countries with some form of fascist ideology.

Freedom House stated the 2018 tournament hosted in Russia was not ‘free’ with autocratic control by Vladimir Putin. Same can be said for Qatar where democratic elections or political parties do not exist. Freedom House states that “While Qatari citizens are among the wealthiest in the world, most of the population is made up of non-citizens with no political rights, few civil liberties, and limited access to economic opportunities.”

According to Franklin Foer, in spite of the common modern assertion that civilisation is in discord, football provides substance to the argument that a civilised world order is possible. But globalisation single-handedly cannot be seen to achieve this objective. In order to achieve a world environment where citizens have tolerance and respect for each other the institutions of a vivacious domestic liberalism must also be created and sustained.

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## World Cup – is German Football like the German Economy?

I did a post on this topic earlier in the year but thought to update it with some recent data. In teaching economics I try and relate as much as I an to the interests of the students. I have found that sport is one way of engaging a class especially in the macro indicators of a country – growth, unemployment, inflation, trade, inequality etc. The German economy has been the backbone of the EU for a number of years but has this corresponded to the success/failure of the national football team? The performance at the 2004 Euros were the catalyst to an overhaul of the German coaching system – outlined brilliantly in Raphael Honigstein’s book – Das Reboot. This came to fruition in the 2014 World Cup final when German beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time.

However a year earlier in 2013 there was an all German final in the European Champions League with Bayern Munich defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in London. In order to get to the final both teams beat Spanish counterparts – Real Madrid and Barcelona. What is fitting is that in economic terms German is the powerhouse of the European economy whilst in contrast Spain has suffered greatly from the euro crisis and austerity measures that have been imposed on it. If you look at post-war Germany you can see some correlation between the success of the national side and state of the economy.

The Economist looked at this and made the point that German has opened up its borders to not just traditional labour but also football players. Of the two squads on show at the Champions League Final at Wembley in 2013, 17 were from outside Germany.

Most visibly, Germany opened up. Just as immigrants flock to German jobs (more than 1m net arrivals in 2012), so players join German clubs. Between them Bayern and Dortmund have four Brazilians, three Poles, a Peruvian-Italian, a Serb, a Croat, a Swiss of Kosovar extraction, an Austrian of Filipino/Nigerian stock, a Ukrainian and two Australians—and so on. Of the German players, several have dual citizenship or a “migration background”. If the choice is between a German Europe or a European Germany, as the novelist Thomas Mann once put it, football points to the second.

2014 onwards

The 2014 World Cup victory, almost 25 years since they last won it, was achieved largely through the restructuring of German coaching system. The style of play was transformed from a defensive minded ‘park the bus’ attitude to one of free flowing counter attacking style. However the economy was not as buoyant as in previous years with unemployment 6.6% and the spectre of deflation rising its head. Roll on the 2018 World Cup and the defending champions had a disastrous campaign with not even getting out of pool play. This coincided with weakest growth in Germany for five years. The Euro 2020 (played in 2021 because of covid) saw Germany going out to England in the last 16. With regard to the club scene Bayern Munich did win the Champions League in 2020 but no German team made it to the semi-finals in 2021 as both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were knocked out in the quarter finals.

As with most countries the German economy failed to return to its pre-covid growth rate as shortages of manufacturing inputs have hampered any recovery. However, there are plenty of orders on the books for German companies for a potential rebound when supply constraints ease. On the football side of things under new manager Hansi Flick, ex Bayern Munich, the national side breezed through qualifying for Qatar 2022 in what was a weak group, but are still ranked only 12th in the world which is an improvement on 16th in 2018.

2022 – recent results and economic outlook

Recently their poor run of form in the Nations league with just one win in six games and a home defeat to Hungary has left new manager Hansi Flick with a big challenge to get the best out of a talented squad. However, the lack of a real number 9 is a concern and although they can beat other teams it is their lack of consistency that could let them down. As for the German economy it is still a gloomy outlook – high inflation, constant supply chain problems and weaker global demand have impacted their manufacturing industry. Although unemployment figures are low there is pressure on wages which could put further pressure on inflation.

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## Ireland’s first win against the All Blacks in New Zealand – Behavioural Economics

You maybe aware that the rugby game tonight between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dunedin created history. It was the first time that Ireland have beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand. Remember they did beat the ABs in Dublin and Chicago.

Irish supporters, including myself, will take great pleasure in talking about such a result – I was at Eden Park last Saturday and disappointed at the number of mistakes Ireland made. What all this alludes to is the fact that as part of this entertainment comes without the public paying for it, the public benefits from an externality.

Those Irish supporters who traveled to Dunedin for the game will have no doubt spent a significant amount of NZ dollars tonight in the bars and restaurants around town. Nevertheless the satisfaction (utility) derived in NZ dollars from the game would have been much greater than the price Irish supporters would have paid for the ticket. This suggest that there is a lot of consumer surplus present – the difference between the price that a consumer WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY, and the price that he or she actually HAS TO PAY. The success of the Irish team will boost merchandise sales and interest for the World Cup next year in France but more importantly it has been good for rugby in general with throwing the World Cup wide open. When the All Blacks play overseas there are significant externalities whether it be the revenue generated in hosting the match or the social benefits to society.

Furthermore the lead up to the game brings about a sense of delayed gratification (Behavioural Economics). Looking ahead the fact that people have paid for tickets to the World Cup means that they can reap the pleasures of anticipation of being there. Research (Smarter Spending – see previous post) shows that owning material things from expensive homes to luxurious cars turn out to provide less pleasure than holidays, concerts or even witnessing Ireland beating the All Blacks – where were you when Ireland beat the All Blacks in Dunedin? With Ireland’s win national pride increases, along with patriotism and people feeling better about themselves. This is turn brings people together and boosts well-being of the nation. As for the All Blacks they will learn from this defeat and it makes for a great game next week in Wellington. Go Ireland!

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## The economics of transfer deals – Sevilla FC

A colleague forwarded me link to the BBC sport website concerning the work of Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo aka Monchi. Monchi spent 11 years as player at Sevilla (goalkeeper) but is recognised more for his role at Sevilla’s sporting director. When appointed Sevilla were in the Spanish second division and Monchi studied clubs like FC Porto and Lyon who won titles but were able to sell top players and replace them with similar quality players for less money. His first signing was Dani Alves who six years later went to Barcelona for £30m a profit of £29.7m – other signings by Monchi are listed in the table below which equates to and overall £189.75m profit.

Sevilla was relegated from the top flight at the end of the 1996–97 season but returned to La Liga in 1999 with a policy of sell and grow. Since then they have won the following:

• Copa del Rey in 2007 and 2010;
• Uefa Cup in 2006 and 2007;
• Europa League in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020.

Monchi pulled off another profitable transfer last season which saw Ivan Rakitic return to Sevilla for a second spell. Originally the Croatian was signed for £2.1m from Schalke in 2011 and then sold to Barcelona for £15.3m in 2014. In September this year Sevilla resigned him for £1.36m and still playing very good football at 32 years of age.

Do the new signings perform?

The website ‘Total Football Analysis’ looked at how well Monchi’s signings performed – this included five years at Sevilla (2012/13 to 2016/17) and two years at AS Roma (2017/18 to 2018/19) – he returned to Sevilla in 2000. His time at AS Roma was not as successful as at Sevilla.

How ‘Total Football Analysis’ judged the success of his signings was by using the metric: the percentage minutes played versus the price that was paid in the transfer market – see graph below. So logically the more expensive the signings the greater the minutes played. The players in red are AS Roma and those in blue are Sevilla FC.

Upper-left quadrant – poor signings as they are players with an above-average price (more than 7.63 million euros) who played below average minutes (39.24%).

Even if we are taking five seasons at Sevilla and only two at Roma, most of the players in the upper-left quadrant are Roma players. Only Ciro Immobile, Joaquín Correa and Paulo Henrique Ganso could be considered very bad signings for Sevilla in this period, while Roma in only two seasons had Patrik Schick, Javier Pastore, Grégoire Defrel, Rick Karsdorp, Cengiz Ünder, Davide Santon and Juan Jesus in the same list.

Lower right quadrant – excellent signings. Those are players with a below-average price who played a higher than average percentage of minutes. This time, plenty of Sevilla players make the list, but only three Roma players: Aleksandar Kolarov, Federico Fazio and Nicolò Zaniolo.
Lower left quadrant – cheap but didn’t play much, which could mean they were supposed to play that role or were bad signings
Upper right quadrant – expensive signings who played a lot of minutes as there were high expectations.

The correlation between price and percentage of played minutes is represented with the green line. Curiously, the correlation is very low for Monchi’s signings, showing the price is a very bad predictor of players performances in his case. Part of this is because of his high spending at Roma on players who couldn’t make an impact. This reinforces what we suggested before: Monchi proved to be much better at signing lesser-known players for cheap fees than at making high-profile signings.

## The cost of hosting the Olympics

In class recently I have been covering the cost-benefit analysis of running an event like the Olympics. Rio de Janeiro in 2016 had major short falls in funding and for a city with a lot of poverty one questioned their motive for hosting.

The 1976 games in Montreal was the start of the financial issues for host cities – the blowout of \$1.5 billion was paid by city’s rate payers and it wasn’t until December 2006 that the final payment was made. The projected cost of \$124 million was billions below the actual cost. The 1980 Olympics was held in Moscow under the communist system but in 1984 the first real commercial games in Los Angeles took place. Because of the cost overruns in Montreal there was little interest in hosting the games in 1984 and therefore Los Angeles were able to negotiate favourable terms with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). With a lot of the infrastructure already in place and an increase TV rights – \$34.9m Montreal 1976 to \$286.9m Los Angeles 1984 – the latter was the only city to make a profit from hosting the Olympics – \$215 million. See chart below for initial budgets and actual costs from 1996 – 2016..

However the financial success of Los Angeles games encouraged more cities to apply to become hosts with the desire to demonstrate their progress on the world stage. These countries invested massive sums to create the necessary infrastructure. With all Olympics there are specialised facilities that are only used for the games itself and have limited use post-Olympics. Almost all the facilities used in the 2004 Athens Olympics are derelict and ultimately the debt incurred with hosting the games contributed to the financial crisis in Greece. This was a similar story with the Rio Olympics where stadiums and the athlete’s village were left unused and the government was unable to sell them to the private sector.

Source: The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games – Council on Foreign Relations.

Did the Olympics benefit London 2012?
The London Olympics which had a budget blow-out but did transform east London. From a rundown area into a community called East Village. The video from CNBC goes into more detail below:

## ‘The Trinity College VIII’ – amusing book on rowing

Getting away from economics and with my interest in rowing, I can recommend a very entertaining book written by my brother-in-law David Hickey. David was a member of the Trinity College (part of Dublin University) VIII that won the Ladies Plate at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1977 – the Ladies Plate is seen as the World Championships for University VIII’s.

One of the 1977 Ladies Plate crew members has written a lighthearted account of the crew’s three year campaign to try to win the event. While it deals amusingly with some of their outrageous non rowing adventures, the sections on the changes within Trinity College during those years, and especially the descriptions of rowing in general, and racing in particular, are dealt with in a far more serious vein.

Below is an interview with David about the book on the Rowing Chat podcast.

You can purchase the book from the Dublin University Boat Club website which means that they get to keep 50% of the proceeds which they can then put towards their boat funding needs.

https://duboatclub.com/book/

If you are in New Zealand just email me – m.johnston@kingscollege.school.nz – and I can arrange for delivery. You will therefore save on significant postage costs.

## World Cup – the economics of faking an injury.

With the end of a long first term (11 weeks) approaching I try to add a bit of humour to the classroom as generally people are tired and add to that the numerous disruptions to COVID. Later this year the football World Cup takes place in Qatar and I hark back to the last World Cup where we saw the same old tricks played by players to try and influence the decision of the referee.

• France’s Lucas Hernandez admitted to flopping in France’s 2-1 win against Australia in an attempt to get Australian midfielder Mathew Leckie sent off.
• Spanish defender Gerard Piqué accused Portugal’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo of exaggerating a fall to secure a penalty kick in their 3-3 nail-biter. Piqué said Ronaldo has a habit of “throwing himself to the ground.”
• Neymar rolling around in what seemed to be excruciating pain when there was contact on his ankle and that was on the sideline. What would he have done if it was in the penalty area and Brazil were 0-1 down?

That being said it was hoped that the VAR system would start to see this sort of tactic removed from the ‘beautiful game’. Some of the techniques of faking an injury are below – HT to Kanchan Bandyopadhyay.

The Economist has looked at this area and I thought that I would delve a little deeper. There is no doubt that if you study the costs and benefits of faking an injury there are certain sports where it is perceived as quite worthwhile – i.e. the benefits outweigh the costs. Cost benefit analysis is part of Unit 3 of the AS Level course. What is cost-benefit analysis (CBA)?

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) refers to estimating the private and external benefits of an investment project – airport, rail link, road etc against the private and external costs. Once these costs/benefits are established a decision is made as to whether the project should go ahead.

CBA can be applied to any decision you make and below is a table outlining the cost and benefit of faking a peanalty or injury in particular sports. I see the benefit in soccer of diving in the box and being awarded a penalty outweigh the costs by a significant amount. Firstly, if the appeal for a penalty is turned down it is very unlikely that the referee will administer any punishment to the player faking a foul. In too many cases they are happy to let the game play on as they feel under so much pressure anyway for not awarding it. Whilst in ice-hockey a suspension of either 2 or 4 minutes has acted as a deterrent to those caught “embellishing”. I have put some values in the end column which will no doubt encourage a lot of discussion – remember Warren Gatland, the Welsh coach in the Rugby World Cup 2011, considered informing a player to fake an injury so there would be no pushing in the scrums. This was after their captain, Sam Warburton, was sent off early in semi-final against France.

However, with the perceived benefits of diving in soccer it does encourage players to even practice this activity. This reminded me of a great advertisement run by the Guardian Newspaper for the Euro 2004 Soccer Cup – see below

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## How Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club.

I can recommend listening/subscribing to the David McWilliams podcast – an Irish economist who popularises economics and explains quite complex issues in understandable language. I might be a bit bias here being Irish. He recently held a live podcast to a sold out audience of 1,200 in the 3Olympia theatre in Dublin. This theatre is more used to rock concerts, plays etc so for an economist to have a sold-out gig is quite impressive. Colin Peacock of Radio New Zealand recently interviewed him on Radio New Zealand

A recent podcast looked at Russia and how the oligarchs got their money – he used the example of Chelsea Football Club owned by Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich. Below is a mind map and a timeline of events.

• 1990 – Germany reunites – fall of Berlin Wall
• 1991 – Yeltsin – first president of Russian Federation
• 1992 – ‘Shock therapy’ economic reforms – spiralling inflation
• 1992 – Massive privatisation programme of state assets- every citizen 10,000 ruble voucher
• 1993 – Oligarchs bought vouchers off confused public – very cheap
• 1996 – Yeltsin offers oligarchs (22 individuals) key state assets (40% of country) for media support and financing re-election
• 1997 – Government tries to curtail ‘sweetheart deals’ with oligarchs
• 1997 – Oligarchs get money out of Russia – buy yachts, property, companies, football teams etc
• 1999 – Yeltsin steps down and Putin becomes prime minister – the rest is history

Estimates of oligarchs worth outside Russia

• \$920bn of net private Russian wealth located offshore
• \$2bn stake in the London property market
• \$11bn in Swiss bank accounts500
• Russian multimillionaires living in the UK

2020 report from the Atlantic Council on Russian dark money, Vladimir Putin and his closest associates control around one-quarter of the estimated \$1 trillion worth of assets stashed away in the West and beyond Russia’s borders. Source: David McWilliams Podcast

For more on economic systems view the key notes (accompanied by fully coloured diagrams/models) on elearneconomics that will assist students to understand concepts and terms for external examinations, assignments or topic tests.

## Covid-19 and matchday revenue of the 10 richest football clubs

It is always good to read Deloitte’s Football Money League annual publication and I was particularly interested to see what impact Covid-19 had on the revenue streams of the top 10 highest revenue generating clubs. It is estimated by Deloitte that this year’s Money League will have missed out on over €2 billion of revenue across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. This is primarily driven by matchday revenue – ticket and corporate hospitality sales.

Matchday business operations are the foundation for a club and they also help to dive other aspects of their business model. Although fans will want to return to grounds to support their team it remains uncertain how and when clubs can return to pre-Covid-19 revenue levels. One has to think more about the clubs in the lower divisions as the vast majority of their revenue is from spectators through the gate.

The table and chart below shows the top 10 highest revenue generating clubs in 2020. They also compare the matchday revenue between 2019 and 2020 and the difference expressed as a percentage. All but Tottenham Hotspur have experienced a decrease in matchday revenue with Juventus experiencing the biggest percentage fall – 36%. Tottenham was the only club in the Money League top ten to record an increase in matchday revenue. Despite the impact of the pandemic, matchday and commercial revenue grew to €107.7m (up 16%), demonstrating the revenue generating potential that Tottenham has unlocked through its new stadium. This was the largest amount of matchday revenue generated by any of the Premier League clubs in the year ending June 2020. Juventus and Manchester City generated much lower level of matchday revenue relative to other clubs – Juventus generated €42.3m (down 36%) and Manchester City €46.7m (down 24%).

## Black Caps Test Champions and positive externalities

In 2019 I stayed up all night to watch the Back Caps lose the World Cup One-Day final in England in what was such a bizarre finish and one felt for Kane Williamson and the side. However two years later and all has been forgotten as the Back Caps become the first ever World Test Champions. Captain Williamson like Richie McCaw, a humble character, has led from the front and just goes about his work in a quiet manner.

Black Cap supporters will take great pleasure in talking about such a result but what all this alludes to is the fact that as part of this entertainment comes without the public paying for it, the public benefits from an externality.

Those who were able to travel to Southampton for the game and will have no doubt spent a significant amount of British pounds tonight in the bars and restaurants around town. Nevertheless the satisfaction (utility) derived in pounds from the game would have been much greater than the price they paid for the ticket. This suggest that there is a lot of consumer surplus present – the difference between the price that a consumer WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY, and the price that he or she actually HAS TO PAY. Furthermore the lead up to the game brings about a sense of delayed gratification (Behavioural Economics) especially after the disappointment in 2019 World Cup. Research (Smarter Spending – see previous post) shows that owning material things from expensive homes to luxurious cars turn out to provide less pleasure than holidays, concerts or even witnessing the Back Caps winning the first ever Test World Cup – where were you when the Black Caps beat India in Southampton? With New Zealand’s win national pride increases, along with patriotism and people feeling better about themselves. This in turn brings people together and boosts well-being of the nation.

## European Super League and so much for Joseph Schumpeter

Economist Joseph Schumpeter talked about creative destruction in that to survive capitalists continually seek more profits through the pursuit of new markets. With the presence of new markets this brings about more innovation removing the old businesses and opening opportunities for the new.

The free market, in which business is supposed to thrive, is based on weak barriers to entry, competition and less regulatory constraints. The extreme of this theory is perfect competition although in football we don’t have homogeneous products in that all teams are different. However the market does give teams the chance to gain promotion from lower divisions in English Football. Take for instance Leicester City winning the EPL and before them teams like Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest – the latter winning the league having just been promoted from the Second Division (in those days). These teams used innovation, coaching, strategically delving into the transfer market (not with the funds that some clubs have today) etc to form a successful team.

The proposed ESL was all but free-market capitalism with an American style franchise system with 12 teams guaranteed a place in the competition – significant barriers to entry and not conducive to competition. So much for Joseph Schumpeter’s creative destruction with a group of elite clubs protecting their market and the owners being rentier capitalists. The ESL’s proposed move is similar to what has been happening in the market place – a structure of businesses taking huge debt and taking little interest in competition as long as they are making money. Manchester United, probably the most famous club in the world, got knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage but are still making a lot of money for the owners. It seems that the desire to win trophies has been superseded by profit – the proposed ESL avoids competition as member clubs are protected against the risk of failure. Not to say this is not already happening as the EPL and many other leagues in Europe are dominated by a small number of clubs which have significant funds available. This makes it near impossible for the other clubs to be competitive – remember Wimbledon winning the FA Cup in 1988 with the ‘crazy gang’. They had the worst stadium, poorly paid players and the lowest gates. It is hard to see supporters of less wealthy clubs being too enthusiastic about the excitement of victory.

The ESL has demonstrated that global capitalism operates on the basis of rigged markets not free markets, and those running the show are only interested in entrenching existing inequalities. It was a truly bad idea, but by providing a lesson in economics to millions of fans it may have performed a public service. Larry Elliott – The Guardian – 22-4-21

## The America’s Cup: multiplier effect and cost-benefit analysis

I was fortunate enough to be out in the spectator fleet for yesterday’s America’s Cup racing between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rosa Prada Pirelli – honours were even in the two races. As with most events, analysts attempt to work out the multiplier effect and the impact it will have on an economy. In 2017 forecast, predicted that the America’s Cup would add between \$600 million and \$1 billion to the New Zealand economy. Employment would be boosted and in the longer term for every \$1 put into infrastructure would generate \$7.50 of economic activity. However with the impact of COVID-19, New Zealand will suffer a loss on the \$249.5 million it invested in the America’s Cup, but there maybe benefits over time.

The Multiplier Explained

Consider a \$300 million increase in business capital investment. This will set off a chain reaction of increases in expenditures. Firms who produce the capital goods that are ultimately purchased will experience an increase in their incomes. If they in turn, collectively spend about 3/5 of that additional income, then \$180m will be added to the incomes of others. At this point, total income has grown by (\$300m + (0.6 x \$300m). The sum will continue to increase as the producers of the additional goods and services realise an increase in their incomes, of which they in turn spend 60% on even more goods and services. The increase in total income will then be (\$300m + (0.6 x \$300m) + (0.6 x \$180m). The process can continue indefinitely. But each time, the additional rise in spending and income is a fraction of the previous addition to the circular flow.

The value of the multiplier can be found by the equation ­1 ÷ (1-MPC)
You can also use the following formula which represents a four sector economy
1 ÷ MPS+MRT+MPM

Source: CIE Revision Guide by Susan Grant

The economic impact is based a lot on the multiplier effect but the use of cost benefit analysis also considers those external costs and benefits which are not easily convertible into a monetary value.

Evaluation of CBA
It is clearly more efficient for public spending to be subject to rigorous analysis, rather than based on the whims of politicians. However, there are a number of criticisms of CBA, including:

1. It is often very costly to undertake, though usually this forms a very small proportion of total project spending.
2. Assessing the monetary value of external costs and benefits is often very difficult. What precisely is the value of the congestion that would be reduced if a new bi-pass were built around a busy town? How much extra tourist revenue will actually be gained from a new airport? How long will the building be used as a venue, as in the case of the Viaduct area in Auckland for the 2020/21 America’s Cup. One solution to this problem is shadow pricing, where analysts attempt to place a value on the costs and benefits of a decision or a project where an actual market price does not exist.
3. Changing circumstances can make initial projections appear grossly inaccurate. The Wembley Stadium project in London went considerably over-budget, and the majority Olympic Games are far more costly than originally estimated. For instance the Montreal Olympics in 1976 was eventually paid off in December 2006. Higher interest and inflation rates, and falling exchange rates can all dramatically affect costs.
4. Actual costs can also rise above planned costs as a result of moral hazard, where project managers go over budget because they expect that those who fund the project will make extra funds available, providing an insurance against their over-spending.
5. Ultimately, decisions to go ahead with projects are only guided by CBA, leaving politicians to make the final decision. Politicians are free, of course, to ignore the results of an appraisal.

If you have read the book Circus Maximus you will no doubt be aware that most big sporting events run over budget and in some cases don’t generate the benefits until well after the event if at all. So just because an event runs over budget is that enough to say that we shouldn’t go ahead with the event. There are a great many other benefits of hosting an event like the Americas Cup which are not measured by GDP. The sense of community and wellbeing that comes from New Zealander’s performance whether it be in rugby or at the Olympics. It tends to bring people together feel a sense of belonging which has external benefits.

## King’s College rowing challenge 2020 – 7×7 – 7 marathons in 7 days

After the 100k challenge last year, Jim Potts (Former Director of Sport at King’s and now at St Patrick’s College in Queensland) and I set a challenge for 2020 – to row 7 marathons in 7 consecutive days. This week we completed the challenge and would like to thank those who have joined Jim and I at various times both in Queensland and Auckland for the past seven mornings.

In Auckland special thanks to Daryl Williams (every morning), Allan Robertson, Dan Rattray, Brendan Boreham, Scott Palmer, Onosai Auvaa,  Mal Bish, and Steve Davison who have joined me on the erg. Also those that have dropped by in support and the rowing club for their encouragement. Photo from Day 3 – I am at the end with the white cap.

The idea behind the event is to raise money for Friedreich’s ataxia research –  link below:

https://give.curefa.org/team/329597

## English Premier League – where competition means more revenue and better football

As the season drew to a close with the Europa League and Champions League Finals last week one couldn’t help noticing the dominance of the EPL sides. To have 4 clubs from the EPL in the finals is unprecedented and testament to the strength on the EPL. A lot of the other European leagues have a dominance of one or maybe two teams – EG

• Spain – La Liga – Barcelona won the championship easily this year. Real Madrid its closest rivals in previous years finished 3rd.
• Germany – Bundesliga – Bayern Munich won the league for the last 7 years although Borussia Dortmund have been close on a few occasions.
• France – Ligue 1 – Paris St German won the league by 16 points and have won Ligue 1 6 out of the last 7 seasons
• Italy – Serie A – Juventus won the league by 11 points and it was their 8th consecutive title.
• Netherlands – Eredivisie – Ajax won the league by 3 points from PSV Eindhoven. Third place was a further 18 points behind

US Economist Walter Neale said that a pure monopoly in sport is not good. If some team is totally dominant in a league the interest in the competition wanes and fewer fans turn up to games and also television rights become less attractive. Therefore if a club is dominant in a league it will have to look to other alternatives to generate more revenue – creating a super league amongst other teams at the expense of national leagues like the Premier League, La Liga in Spain and Germany’s Bundesliga. This would be like major sports in the USA where the same teams compete without the threat of relegation. It would also be to the detriment of local leagues in which clubs traditionally have huge followings and also generate a lot of income.

However the EPL has done well to have a very competitive competition with 6 clubs being serious contenders for the title – Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester Utd. With such competition there is interest from the fan base and TV rights which makes for a profitable league. So revenue in the sports arena is generated by competition not monopoly power. The EPL title went down to the last game whilst PSG won the Ligue 1 with 5 games left.

Source: Financial Times – 15th May 2019 – ‘Premier League wins by creating room at the top for football clubs’  by John Gapper.

With the start of the EPL this weekend I thought it appropriate to look at something related to football. Teams in the EPL and other domestic leagues often look for funding from the government to build stadiums with the rationale that the investment will attract consumers and businesses to the local area. This suggests that a multiplier effect would be at work and the benefits to the area go beyond that of the football field.

The size of the multiplier is influenced by how much of extra income is spent on domestically produced products. The more that is passed on in the circular flow, the larger will be the multiplier. This means that the size of the multiplier varies inversely with the tendency for extra income to be withdrawn from the circular flow – the marginal propensity to withdraw. It is calculated by 1/marginal propensity to withdraw. In the case of a two sector economy, this is I divided by the marginal propensity to save (mps). For example, if people save \$20 out of an increase in income of \$100, the mps will be 0.2 and the multiplier will be 1/0.2 = 5.

Cities with new stadiums initially create jobs and growth but in the long-term there is little economic benefit. Why?

1. For all their cultural significance, sports tams are not very big businesses and so their overall impact is small in most cities of any size.
2. If local residents spend more at the stadium they are likely to reduce spending elsewhere which will impact on local businesses.
3. A stadium may attract more visitors from outside the area who inject money into the local economy, but the multiplier effect is likely to be small because many of the services they consume will actually come from outside the area – e.g. food and beverages may be shipped in from elsewhere.

If you look at previous World Cups or European Championships there tends to be the same issues as mentioned above

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa saw Soccer City, the largest sports venue in Africa, undergo a £300 million renovation which costs £250,000 a month to maintain. It is the stadium for the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates but is rarely full and has struggles to make revenue from other sources. See below:

Brazil spent about \$3 billion building 12 new or heavily refurbished stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. Officials justified the expense by saying that the stadiums would generate revenue for years to come with Brazilian football premier league games and rock concerts but most stadiums are failing to generate any revenue. The most expensive stadium in Brasilia – 72,000 seater and a \$900 million venue – is used a bus parking lot. A big issue here was that there was no major professional football team in the city so therefore limited crowds would be present. Although the organisers rationale was to improve facilities around the country there are white elephants evident – in some locations teams cannot afford the rental so will play at much smaller venues. A \$600m stadium in Manaus was used for 4 World Cup games but is now empty which is not surprising as the city itself has a lower division football team who don’t have the finances. What people forget is that, although the stadiums might look good and are used to host the biggest sporting event in the world, a large number of people are displaced and neighbourhoods disestablished. But organisers say that it will add to the well-being of the population especially if the host side wins – however this has not been the case for Brazil – in fact as we know it turned out to be a bit of a trashing in the semi-final against Germany. It will be interesting to see the use of stadiums in Russia after the World Cup just gone but one cannot doubt that the morale of the Russian people was significantly boosted by their teams performance.

## Wages in the English Premier League – Demand-Pull Inflation

You are no doubt are well aware of the staggering wages that the English Premier League player receive especially when you consider other occupations.

What ultimately the salary explosion has been driven by the huge amounts of money that is now at the disposable of some of the top clubs. In economics this refers to the concept of demand-pull inflation where the supply has not kept apace with the demand for world-class players. Below is graph showing both demand-pull and cost-push.