free hit counter

The biggest deal in European sports

When you live in the States, it’s easy to lose your perspective on sports in the rest of the world. Here, NFL football, Major League Baseball and NBA Basketball hold sway – probably in just about that order. But if you look at Europe soccer (called “football” of course) is really where it’s at.

Obviously other sports are big news in different countries, but from a continent-wide perspective, soccer / “football” is the uniting theme.

Within Europe itself, four major national leagues hold sway; the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga and the Italian Serie-A. It’s probably fair to say that that’s the order of ascendency too – from a business perspective. The English Premier League attracts more international interest than any of the others. But when it comes to the quality of football played, it’s a toss-up between the Spanish, German and English leagues- with the Italians generally punching below their weight by historical standards.

Of course gambling is legal across most of Europe too – so betting is a big thing. Bundesliga betting, Premier League betting and gambling across all games is huge business everywhere. But again it’s in the UK where gambling is biggest as it’s a very competitive market and one which is completely open to all over 18s with no tax to pay from the gamblers’ point of view anyway.

The notable exceptions in the footballing arena for big countries in Europe are France and Russia. France, by tradition, generates a lot of talented soccer players but has always punched below its relative economic weight in terms of the importance of its domestic league. The big club at the moment in France is Paris St Germain (PSG) thanks to wealthy benefactors, but there isn’t anything like the depth of competition you find on the domestic front in the other countries mentioned. Russia, on the other hand, also punches way below its weight – yet hosts the next World Cup – so maybe that will help shift the balance of power a little further east?

For now, then, the big picture is one of the English league dominating the big money interests with top quality clubs in quantity – with Spain and Germany probably holding ascendency in terms of teams quality but certainly not quantity.

In Germany Bayern Munich is the big powerhouse in the international stage whilst in Spain the big two are always the big two; Real Madrid and Barcelona  though Atletico Madrid are doing all they can to crash the party with former Argentinian international player Diego Simeone at the helm and working a small miracle.

In England, the traditional big clubs of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are currently joined by Manchester City and Chelsea both of whom are benefitting from wealthy owners.

And if you think that money doesn’t really talk in the modern game – then consider that the latter two are also the top two in the English Premier League at the time of writing.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Speak Your Mind