Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, as previously noted we don’t follow soccer with any great intensity. We don’t despise soccer, mind you. We simply don’t pay it much attention. Given that our soccer team of choice is the San José Earthquakes, although Karl the Kraken has expressed a preference for the Seattle Sounders, understanding quickly enters the picture as the Earthquakes aren’t exactly going to be calling out any top-tier Premier League squad in the near future. Maybe Wrexham AFC, although if Ryan Reynolds has his way, the Red Dragons will be hanging with the high-rollers in the next few years.
That all said, there are a couple of developments regarding the beautiful game, as its devotees label the sport, worth noting. Unsurprisingly, both involve money. Somewhat more surprisingly, only one involves wokeness.
A tick of background. Twice a year, FIFA, which oversees, to a degree, the major soccer leagues across the globe, allows what is called a transfer period. A transfer consists of one team buying the rights for a player by giving the player’s current team a lot of money. The team thus now holding rights to said player then negotiates a new contract with the player. Meanwhile, fans of the team from whence the player came feel played, as it is apparent the team’s owners are far more interested in lining their pockets than putting the best team possible within the field’s boundary lines.
The January 2023 transfer period recently closed, and current estimates are it will take English stationary stores several weeks to replenish their ballpoint pen supply due to incredible demand so as to complete writing checks. Teams in the Premier League, England’s top soccer dog, shelled out a billion — yes, billion — dollars in transfer fees to bring top talent into the fold. This has perturbed the head honchos of other leagues for some unfathomable reason.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas shared a video on Twitter of corporate general director Javier Gomez saying that the Spanish league would ask UEFA to do more on transfers.
“We are aware there is a lot of talk about how LaLiga’s economic control means Spanish clubs sign less than Premier League clubs,” he said. “Let’s explain what’s behind that. What’s the truth? The reality is that at LaLiga we want clubs to spend what they can afford and generate themselves, that is to say, their own revenues.
“It is true that shareholders are also allowed to support the club and put money in to spend more than the club itself can generate, but within certain limits.”
Tebas went on to note that Premiere League teams are throwing shareholders’ money around far more than team-generated revenue for the astronomical transfer fees, which as any business major other than Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez knows can rapidly turn into a fireball juggling act. And I’m not talking about trying to keep whiskey bottles aloft. But hey, it’s their money.
The other major soccer story is how local organizers of this year’s Women’s World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand have grown quite wroth over FIFA accepting a tidy sponsorship sum from that legendary women’s rights champion Saudi Arabia. From Sky News:
FIFA is facing backlash from Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia and New Zealand over a potential sponsorship of the tournament by Saudi Arabia amid concerns about restrictions on women’s rights in the kingdom.
Football officials Australia and New Zealand said they were disappointed not to be consulted about the deal with Visit Saudi by FIFA before reports emerged.
“We cannot express strongly enough the potential repercussions and fallout that could result of his decision,” the Australian and New Zealand FAs wrote to FIFA.
“Australis and New Zealand, both as sovereign nations and as football associations, have for decades placed the utmost importance on gender equality, and have sought to promote these ideals around the world.”
One may safely assume that in both countries, gender equality means abusing women with the same sadistic statist fervor over COVID lockdowns as men. But I digress.
Where things get fuzzy is in that darn math aspect. The 2022 Qatar World Cup had an estimated outlay of $220B by the host country to build stadiums and bury foreign workers who died during the construction thereof. In 2011, FOX Sports and Telemundo paid between the two networks over $1B to have World Cup television rights in the United States. The deal was extended in 2015 to run through the 2026 World Cup. Little hint: the Women’s World Cup was a throw-in on the deal.
A 2020 story in The Conversation, while doing its utmost to extol the tournament’s benefits, couldn’t overcome cold reality.
Whether it’s a good investment in an economic downturn requires weighing the benefits against the costs. And while some benefits are evident – the World Cup will no doubt be a huge boost for women’s football in both countries, as well as women’s sport overall – there are significant questions about the expected revenues and long-term economic benefit.
The story continues to lay out how any revenue generated from the tournament will be local only. TV money? FIFA’s. That sweet Saudi sponsorship money? Also FIFA’s. But hey, who can deny that Costa Rica vs. Zambia match will pack the house? Of course, it will be the player’s parents’ houses, but still.
Why haven’t these dewy-eyed dreamers that women’s sports will one day equal men’s in popularity figured out they are chasing the wind? It will never happen. Ever. It will never make the same amount of money. Ever. Demanding equity based on, um, whatever sounds nice. But it remains about the money and only about the money. And it’s a brutal fact that Messi coming to town sells a whole lot more of everything than Alex Morgan stopping by. And as far as being outraged by FIFA taking a check from Saudi Arabia … when it comes down to basics, it’s all about the money.
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Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/jerrywilson/2023/02/02/2023-womens-world-cup-organizers-outraged-over-effort-to-make-event-profitable-n697494