Last week the Argentine Football Association delayed the start of the season because most of the clubs are bankrupt- they owe wages to the players and taxes to the government. The crisis was blamed on the European recession slowing the flow of transfer fees going to Argentine clubs. But similar problems exist in Europe- for all of Real Madrid ‘s exploits, the economist Angel Barajas has studied the finances of Spanish clubs and considers most of them insolvent; plenty of English clubs might struggle to pay wages and taxes this year too, and Italy was in crisis even before the recession. Expect to hear mounting demands for government bail-outs and tighter regulation. Really, it’s just banking by another name.
More Sports Economist Insights