Nick Shaxson ■ Veblen and Keynes comment on the UK Premier League


We’ve just written about the new Offshore Game report, covered extensively in The Guardian newspaper, and thought we’d note one of the nice little graphics about offshore ownership that The Guardian has created. 

Keynes Premier League


This graphic reminds us of a quote from the late John Maynard Keynes:

“Experience is accumulating that remoteness between ownership and operation is an evil in the relations between men, likely or certain in the long run to set up strains and enmities which will bring to nought the financial calculation.” (John Maynard Keynes, National Self Sufficiency, 1933)

In fact, ahead of Keynes, other economists were making this rather obvious point. Thorstein Veblen, for example, said, in his own rather odd language:

“The outcome of this management of industrial affairs through pecuniary transactions, therefore, has been to dissociate the interests of those men who exercise the discretion from the interests of the community.”   (Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise, 1904)

Football clubs which were originally owned and controlled by fans are now financial assets traded between wealthy business interests, often with little interest in the communities these clubs once drew their strength from.

Just saying.

As a reminder, the longer quote from Keynes, which contains more that is relevant to this graphic, is here. The full Offshore Game report is here.



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