From humble beginnings, football has exploded into one of the most-watched sports in the world. Far from being just a game, football is now a multi-billion dollar industry. But does compromise the integrity of the game? Would football be better if there was less money involved?
Yes, there's too much money in football
The influence of money has ruined the spirit of football and the game would be better off it could go back to being less focused on money.
Footballers earn millions of dollars while billions live in poverty
The world's best footballers make millions of pounds in a single year. This is more money than anyone could need and would be better spent going towards the less well-off.
Local, working-class football fans are being priced out of enjoying the sport
Most teams have been built on the back of the support of their local, working class communities and should exist for these fans. However, instead, the modern game has created higher ticket prices which means these fans can't afford to watch their teams.
While football and money have become more linked, this has not harmed the game, and in fact may even have improved it
The amount of money in football is proportional to the demand for the sport
Football, like everything in a free market, is governed by the laws of supply and demand. The prices of player wages, transfer fees, TV rights, tickets and clubs merely reflects the level of global interest in the game.
Football has long been a path to riches, fame, and success for the poor
Unlike most paths to economic success, there are very few barriers to entry to succeed in football. There is no reason why someone from a poor family cannot succeed and indeed many of the richest footballers in the world came from these backgrounds. Football, therefore, does more to help the poor than most other avenues.
The money that goes into football comes from rich owners who can afford it
Much of the increase in money in football is due to cash investments from rich owners such as Roman Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour. If not for football, this money wouldn't go to helping those in need, but to their own private gain, where it may even cause great harm.
The money from football trickles down from the league and clubs into communities
The largest football clubs have to spend a portion of their revenue on grassroots funding, while transfer fees also trickle down from larger clubs to smaller ones. This means that the money at the top level of the game eventually reaches local communities where it provides a much-needed resource.