Manchester City has spent almost €1 billion in transfer indemnities to sign its present squad members (add-ons included). This obscene figure is the highest figure ever measured for a football team. The CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the data for all of the big-5 league teams in Europe.
Seven English Premier League teams are in the 11 top positions of the table. The biggest increase compared to last year was measured for Liverpool (from €437M to €704M). The Spanish giants (Barcelona and Real Madrid), Juventus and Paris St-Germain (2nd overall) are the only non-English teams in the top 11. The best-ranked German Bundesliga club, Bayern Munich, is 12th.
Total transfer expenditure to make up the squad for clubs from the five major European leagues went constantly up during the last decade. In 2010, a big-5 league had spent on average €67M to sign its squad members. In 2018, this figure reached a new record high of €161M. During the same period, the amounts invested to assemble the squad by English Premier League clubs went up from €126M to €326M.
The Premier League, whose member clubs are owned by financial oligarchs, currently has the highest percentage of foreign players of any league in the world, at 69.2 per cent.
The so-called globalization of sports by big monopolies and the sports cartels (leagues, associations) has self-serving aims. Along with striving for domination of the global market, including control over human talent, these include the justification of the unjustifiable, from the racist and fascist South African regime in the 1970s and 1980s to Zionist Israel and the Bahrein and Emirate dictatorships today. Israel’s increasing integration into European competitions, despite its refusal to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, its violation of human rights and its illegal occupation of Historic Palestine, including illegal settlements in the West Bank, is contrary to the highest ideals of amateur sport. It should be met with international opposition of the kind faced by apartheid South Africa, writes JONATHAN COOK* from Nazareth – though not at the expense of the struggle of the Palestinian people themselves for their inalienable rights. – Tony Seed
[April 25, 2013] A DOZEN Palestinian teenagers from the West Bank village of Bilin stride forth in FC Barcelona jerseys, looking no different from thousands of other fans of one of the world’s leading football clubs. But moments later, in the shadow of the oppressive concrete wall, the group remove their shirts and drape them over razor wire the Israeli army has uncoiled around the village. The youngsters then set fire to the jerseys.
This protest, captured earlier this month on a YouTube video, is one of many by Palestinians and their international supporters as they step up their opposition to Israel’s increasing integration into world football, at a cost, say Palestinians, to their own sporting ambitions. Continue reading
By STUART LITTLEWOOD*
I’VE just received a timely reminder about the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) under-21 finals to be held in Israel in June.
Given Israel’s unsporting record and sheer bloody-minded obstructiveness towards the Palestinians’ efforts to participate in national and international sport (examples are listed below in Elizabeth Morley’s email), it is quite outrageous for the British government to applaud and reward the Tel Aviv regime’s racist behaviour. After all, the toffs who run our Westminster government were brought up on the playing fields of Eton and, we presume, had proper sporting values well and truly beaten into them. Continue reading
Rubble of the Palestine Sports Stadium in Gaza City (Mahumd Hamsmah | AFP:Getty Images)
DOZENS of leading footballers have signed a statement protesting UEFA’s decision to stage the European under-21 championship in Israel next year following the country’s recent military offensive against Gaza.
Sixty-two players, including Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Arsenal’s Abou Diaby and Paris Saint-Germain’s Jeremy Menez and Didier Drogba, now playing with Shanghaï Shenhua (China), claim that Israel hosting the tournament will be “seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values.” Continue reading
By ALI ABUNIMAH*
Palestinians paint a mural depicting Mahmoud al-Sarsak in southern Gaza on June 10. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
PALESTINIAN footballer Mahmoud Sarsak is still on hunger strike and is determined to continue until he dies or Israel agrees to free him, his lawyer Mahmoud Jabarin said today. Continue reading
On June 3, Palestinian national soccer team member Mahmoud Sarsak completed 80 days of a grueling hunger-strike. He had sustained the strike despite the fact that nearly 2,000 Palestinian inmates had called off their own 28-day hunger strike weeks ago. Continue reading
Sports and culture are important elements of their nation-building project, the Palestinians affirm. In the biggest match in Palestinian history, the national football team faces Afghanistan on June 29 and July 3 in first-round Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In this Oct. 26, 2008, file photo, players of the Palestinian soccer team are seen on the field prior a match with Jordan at a stadium in the West Bank town of Aram, near Jerusalem.