As economists, we see economics everwhere. It’s interesting to me how often economic intuition turns up , even if expressed in different words. One of my soccer-loving associates, Reed Vesey, notes that on Monday night’s Fox Sports World Report, Bobby McMahon (a great TV personality and analyst) discussed Bolton’s dilemma. Because of a FA replay with Aston Villa, UEFA Cup competition, and its regular EPL schedule, the team faces 4 games in 7 days. This would put pressure on even the deepest squads, but given Bolton’s limited financial resources and depth, they must make some hard decisions about which games to really try to win with their front line troops.
Taking the pursuit of EPL wins as a given, McMahon went with the obvious choice –Bolton would pursue the UEFA win because of the financial gain. Ok, easy enough. At this point, one of the anchors, Michelle Lissel, dug down to inquire about a possible wedge between the team’s incentive and those for Bolton’s coach, Sam Allardyce. She noted that Allardyce has received considerable attention for the England national team head coaching position — a position determined by England’s Football Association (the FA). Showing a preference for the UEFA game versus the FA Cup game by using more first line players in the former might not sit very well among the FA hierarchy.