Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Capping off the European Game

Unchecked spending among Europe's elite teams is nothing new, but in the face of the global financial crisis, there's growing sentiment that some offenders are "destroying football." If a salary cap is to become a reality among UEFA clubs, current world events offer a plausible spark.

While Major League Baseball's salary structure is rarely held up as a model, one writer sees MLB's luxury tax as suitable template for UEFA. Could the unlimited spending of Manchester United mean additional funds for the Stoke City's of the world? That's the concept.

One flaw to the MLB system is that it does nothing to reign in the big spenders (see New York Yankees), but rather provides a kick-back to the have-nots. There's also the question of identifying the beneficiaries of such a system. If the idea if is to create more competition across Europe, then the luxury tax of top teams in England, Spain and Italy would be distributed not among their own leagues, but to squads in Greece, Denmark, etc. How this would play out across the EU is anybody's guess. For now the questions outweigh the answers.

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