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Sure they are playing the game, the game of money, that is...
Thierry Henry is the former Captain of Arsenal Football Club. The name may strike a chord only with the most ardent football aficionados; but the fact that he just got richer by $33.07 million will make anyone sit up and take notice. Yes, an outlandish 24 million euros is the sum for which he was transferred from Arsenal to Barcelona Football Club. Elsewhere, in the UK, steel tycoon L.N. Mittal is showing a keen interest in acquiring Birmingham FC. Perhaps he is inspired by Roman Abramovic, the 16th richest man on earth (Forbes), who owns English club Chelsea (having $304.37 million revenues).
Money is flowing from all directions - merchandise, sponsorships, broadcasts, memberships and gate receipts on the match day. According to Deloitte, Spanish club Real Madrid churned out a stupendous $402.43 million in revenues (excluding player transfer fees) during 2005- 06, placing it on top amongst all football clubs, followed by Barcelona with $356.85 million & Juventus with $345.97 million. The English Premier League with revenues worth 2 billion euros (2005-06) is the largest & most profitable. It is expected that revenues of the league will rise to a staggering 2.5 billion euros for the 2007-08 season.
Well, going by basic diktats of economics, more money should make better teams. But correlate the revenues earned with the outcome of UEFA Champions League, 2006- 07 & this assumption looks completely flawed. The winner this year was not among Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Juventus, but the relatively humble AC Milan, Italy (eighth in terms of revenue earnings). Money corrupts, eh?!?!
Edit bureau: Bikram Keshari Jena
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2008
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