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Is English football in crisis?

The game has never been healthier, says Professor Stefan Szymanski


With ticket prices at an all time high, player salaries soaring and clubs sitting on a mountain of debt, some fans argue English football is facing a major crisis. But in this week's Cass Talks, Professor Stefan Szymanski, the country's top sports economist, insists the game is healthier than it has even been.

Professor Szymanski, who gave evidence earlier this week at a House of Commons inquiry into the governance of football, argues a lack of regulation has been a force for good, not ill. English football is more popular internationally than its European rivals, attendance levels are the highest for five decades and lower league football is booming. "It is ironic people are calling for regulation when in reality football in this country is doing rather well," he says.

Professor Szymanski goes on to outline the measures MPs might introduce in a bid to tighten up football regulation. But he says this may not be for the good of the game. "It's ironic we see fans clamouring for regulations which will make football clubs profitable, because those profits come form their own pockets. What's good for fans is for clubs to make no money at all, so that everything clubs spend goes on the players and that makes for better football."

The Cass Talks interviews are an opportunity to hear Cass faculty and prominent alumni give their perspective on current business and finance news stories, global issues affecting the business world and new research coming out of the School. Listen, watch and download Cass Talks and see other Cass academics share their opinions at: www.cass.city.ac.uk/casstalks

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