Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Soccer secession, much more acceptable than political secession

FC Barcelona and R. Madrid (both) should leave the Spanish soccer League and join the English Premier League, perhaps at the beginning at least together with Glasgow Rangers and Celtic Glasgow. This would be the embryo of a true European superleague, which would exponentially increase the number of interesting soccer games every week. Now we have to endure many boring games in the Spanish league, which could recover some degree of competitive balance in the absence of the two big clubs. Now soccer leagues compete for attention, for managers and for players. Why couldn't they compete also for teams? Most of the audiences, and most of the best players and the best managers, find the EPL the best league. At the same time, there is an untapped demand for better games. Soccer fans have to wait until the end of the season to watch truly big games in Europe, or wait until the finals of the World Cup every four years. This move would contribute to preventing a hard Brexit, by highlighting the benefits of the UK remaining in the single market. It would cause no great problem to the Spanish or European economy because we would still enjoy two "Clásicos" every season. The Spanish Cup and the Champions League would remain in their current format. National teams would survive, but hopefully would be like tourist attractions deprived of political significance (more or less like the "calcio storico" in Florence and Siena). Instead, political secession to create or consolidate even more nation-states (with their package of flag, anthem and radical nationalism) creates instability and endangers investments and prosperity, as it is apparent in the case of Brexit. The poor would suffer the most with more political secessionism, because they don't have tax havens to send anything. A world of small nations competing for capital thereatens the welfare state. A world of soccer leagues competing for teams in a united Europe doesn't threaten anything and may be great for consumer welfare.

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