THE PECULIAR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL IN EUROPE

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ABSTRACT

Most European industries have a history of gradually opening international markets, with growing international capital mobility and increasing free trade of goods and services. However, although labour markets have been officially deregulated as well, there is much less international mobility of labour, mainly due to cultural and social barriers. An apparent exception to the rule been the industry of professional team sports in Europe, where the Bosman verdict in 1995 has freed the European player market while the product market was still nationally protected. In this paper, we try to derive the consequences of this deviant evolution in the European sports industry, concentrating on the competitive balance within and between national leagues and on the player salary levels, using a simplified ‘two country–four team’ model with quadratic revenue functions.

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