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Last time I talked about the irony in the differences between professional sports and business in America. It turns out, we are not alone in our confusing systems.

European Soccer

When one turns an eye towards Europe, as I have been for the last several months living in Germany, it is immediately clear that our economic policy do not completely line up. Germany and for the most part Europe as a whole operate what can best be described as a mix of capitalism and socialism. There are more government regulations, social programs, and taxes.

This contrasts starkly with their sports league. As you know in Europe football(American soccer) is king. Essentially, no other organized sports matter. It is therefore strange that in a place with so many regulations, that in sports there would be no rules. In Europe kids do not play sports for their schools or university, there is only club. Professional soccer clubs scout athletes, sometimes as young as 6 years old and sign them to contracts. Players then play for their club only. As you would expect in a completely free market economy, the best and richest teams get all the top talent. Teams like Barcelona, Man United, Bayern, and Real Madrid dominate.

Lionel Messi

There is much less balance between competition. In La Liga, the Spanish league, wither Barcelona or Real Madrid have nine of the previous ten titles and have matched off in the championship eight of those times. 17 of the past Bundesliga(German League) champs have been either Bayern Munich or Dortmund and Manchester United has dominated England(Premier League) with 13 of the last 20 titles. This huge disparity is due to the fact that:

  1. There is no draft system to allow all teams to acquire talent
  2. No salary cap so richer more successful clubs can spend to their hearts content

Why does the United States promote free markets and more balanced sports while Europe is slightly more socialist with no holds barred soccer? I for one have no answer for this. If you have insight into this please comment. Thanks for reading.