Monday, February 13, 2012

The Football League

Real Madrid and Barcelona are football's biggest moneymakers for the third straight year. Manchester United was again in third place. Bayern Munich was fourth. Arsenal, Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Schalke next.

Spanish giants Real Madrid topped the order for the seventh year in succession thanks to revenue of €479.5 million (£401.9m), with La Liga and European Champions Barcelona a close second. United, who recorded a total of €367m (£307.6m), German club Bayern Munich and Arsenal with a figure of €251.1m (£210.5m) completed the top five

Real Madrid earned 36 percent of its revenue from commercial activities such as merchandising and sponsorship, 26 percent from matchday income, including ticket sales, and 38 percent from broadcast agreements.

The top 20 clubs in the Deloitte list generated a combined 4.4 billion Euros (£3.7bn) over the 2010-11 season

Is the World Cup for Brazilians?

Some 3.4 million tourists are expected to visit Brazil over the six weeks of the 2014 World Cup, bringing in 5.3 billion dollars in revenue. The government argues that it will increase Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) by 103 billion dollars between 2010 and 2019.

Christopher Gaffney, a geographer and researcher with the Architecture and Urbanism Graduate Programme at Universidad Federal Fluminense, which monitors the development of large urbanisation projects in the country said "It's a Cup that serves the interests of real estate speculation and large infrastructure and construction works. It will leave behind a legacy of beautiful stadiums, but it will mean that football will become a sport for the rich," Tickets for the Cup's matches will cost 120 to 150 dollars, which is too steep a price for the average Brazilian "It will be the appropriation of football by the wealthy. It's the most popular and democratic sport in the country and it will become increasingly more expensive." [3 million tickets will be sold for the World Cup. 300,000 Category Four tickets will be sold for 25 dollars each.

The western city of Cuiabá, capital of the state of Mato Grosso, will host four matches, which translates into an investment of 370 million dollars for a stadium that will be used just eight hours during the World Cup, and will later be practically idle.

There are also social costs that could turn this World Cup into an "social exclusion cup," because the works underway have already pushed a great number of poor families out of their homes in the favelas (shantytowns), as these are torn down to make room for express bus lanes to facilitate traffic during the Cup. Near Maracaná, for example, 400 families have been forcefully relocated from Favela do Metrô to build a parking lot. These families were uprooted and resettled in a distant suburban area, where they have no ties to the local community. Gaffney projects that some 30,000 families will be displaced in Rio de Janeiro alone.

Human rights violations have also been reported, including abusive working conditions in stadium construction and other works. This has led to strikes and work stoppages at Maracaná and other stadiums, such as Mineirão, in the southwest city of Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais. The protests are motivated by low wages, poor working conditions, and excessive hours resulting from bad planning. "With pressure mounting to finish the works, the first thing to go are workers' rights," Gaffney said.

SOYMB says stop supporting capitalism!

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