Comment: The Economics of Football

Ekow Owusu-Boakye provides his comment and analysis on the fascinating subject of the ‘economics of Football’ and how the Beautiful game can be viewed through the scope of economics and marketing…….

I love and enjoy playing football but the business side of the game has gradually begun to spike my interest over the past year.

There seems to be a growing pressure on players to understand this side of the game. The harsh truth is that they are commodities being sold or bought.

A player must be able to communicate and demonstrate their value to their team through the roles they fulfil on the pitch. Ultimately, the success of a club on and off the pitch is the result of how well the players demonstrate their value in matches through winning games.

A great example of a player who showcased an understanding and awareness of his value recently is Kevin De Bruyne. The Manchester City player single handedly negotiated his own new contract based on a piece of data analysis portraying his undeniable value to the team.

I’ve grown up within the grassroots and non-league level of football, where it can be argued that football is less economically driven. Although from my personal experiences, I still witness the economics of football at play on a smaller scale than the professional level.

Some players at the non-league level of the game aspire to be professional one day. This aspiration may lead to them increasing their value to a team by doing extra work on maybe finishing and shooting which will help them score more goals. This could even secure their team promotion or save a team from relegation.

As this player who has scored goals has demonstrated their value through their output, they are in a strong position to have professional clubs looking at them.

Fans are a massive part of the game. They largely contribute to the matchday revenue a club receives. This includes tickets, merchandise, food etc. Fans are paying to watch their team play good football, win and finish as high up the table as possible. This is where player economics enters the frame.

The biggest football matches featuring the best players often attract the largest audience. Furthermore, the elite clubs which largely feature the highest quality and marketable players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Pogba and Messi, usually have fans from all over the world eager to watch them in action. This is down to how exciting and entertaining they are to watch .

Such calibre of players is so valuable that they are often single-handily the reason their clubs win games.

The economics of football has been an interesting area to explore and holds an importance to some degree to all those involved within the game: the players, clubs and fans.

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