Demand and supply determine prices, but when it comes to factors of production, such as labour, their ‘price’ is largely influenced by their productivity. This helps to explain why doctors are paid more than cleaners and Premiership footballers more than amateurs. But, can it really explain a £50 million transfer price for Fernando Torres, as he moves from Liverpool to Chelsea? Undoubtedly he’s a good footballer, but are his skills worth the price paid? The same question can be asked about David Luiz – a price of £25 million; Andy Carroll – a price of £36 million and a bargain price for Luis Suarez – a mere £23 million! How can teams, such as Chelsea afford to spend so much money, despite making a loss of £70.9 million in the year to June 2010? How much would they have lost had they not won the Premier league and the FA cup?
With the country facing the possibility of returning to recession and the trouble that Portsmouth FC found itself in last season, UEFA’s ‘financial fair play’ rules seemed like a good idea. But, they appear to have been thrown out the window. £200 million was spent on a handful of footballers, as libraries across the UK are shut down due to a lack of funds. The Premier League in the UK generated a higher income than any other, equal to £2.3 billion. However, 14 of our clubs made substantial losses. The amount owed to banks or the owners backing these clubs came in at a mere £3 billion. As the big clubs in the UK push up the prices, more and more ‘small’ clubs are being competed out of the market.
Torres makes record move from Liverpool to ChelseaBBC Sport(31/1/11)
Chelsea and Liverpool drive astonishing £134 million manic Monday Telegraph, Jason Burt (1/2/11)
Champions Chelsea report £70.9 million loss BBC News (31/1/11)
Chelsea announces 70.9 million pound annual loss despite winning Premier League and FA Cup The Canadian Press, Stuart Condie (1/2/11)
Financial restraint goes out of the window when the big clubs struggle Guardian, David Conn (1/2/11)
- How are the prices of footballers determined? Use a diagram to illustrate your answer.
- What factors explain why Premier League footballers are paid so much more than those in the Conference?
- What type of market structure is the UK football league?
- As prices are bid upwards, is there an argument that smaller clubs are being competed out of the transfer market? What type of market structure is football becoming?
- How is that Chelsea can make £70 million loss but still have the finance to spend £50 million on new players?
- What policies could be used to ensure lower prices are paid for footballers? Would they be effective and are they needed?