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Economics, Uncertainty and European Football

Trends in Competitive Balance Loek Groot, Associate Professor of Public Sector Economics, Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
This book provides a complete picture of the development of competitive balance in the major European football countries over an extended period of time, along with some policy prescriptions for the governance of the European football market.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 591 9
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Sector Economics
  • Sports
This book provides a complete picture of the development of competitive balance in the major European football countries over an extended period of time, along with some policy prescriptions for the governance of the European football market.

It presents three new indices which show that European football competitions become less exciting over time. It is also shown that the lower the average number of goals per match, the more imperfect the referee and the stronger the home and away (dis)advantage, the higher the level of competitive balance will be. In the final chapter it is argued that to safeguard the competitive balance and the longstanding traditions of European football, a decommercialization of football is required. Using standard welfare economic theory, the author shows that free-of-charge public broadcasting is the preferred policy.

This book is highly relevant for sports economists, higher vocational and academic students in sports studies and for policymakers in football governing bodies and competition policy agencies.
‘Always wanted to know which European football league offers the most exciting competition? Or, when defensive play and erratic referees enhance the suspense? Interested to find out how a return to the situation of the non-commercial 1950s can prevent a collapse of the top leagues? If you also want to learn how to do your own football statistics, then this book by Mr. Loek Groot is the football book you have been waiting for all these years.’
– Harrie Verbon, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Contents: Introduction 1. Using Football Statistics: The Basic Techniques 2. Competitive Balance: Sport’s Most Precious Good 3. Static Competitive Balance 4. Competitive Balance Based on Team Quality 5. Dynamic Competitive Balance 6. The Future of European Football: Back to the 1950s Conclusions References Index