The Consequences of an Open Labour Market in a Closed Product Market in the Economic Environment of European Professional Football

International Association of Sports Economists Working Paper No. 0830

16 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2009

See all articles by Trudo Dejonghe

Trudo Dejonghe

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Lessius University College

Wim Van Opstal

KU Leuven - HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society; Leuven University College; Federal Planning Bureau

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

Ever since the Bosman case opened the labour market for players in European professional football, competitive balance has reduced in favour of the Big 5 leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France). In this article we show that changing structures towards an open labour market in a closed product market resulted in a migration of player talents towards the major leagues and teams and in a competitive disadvantage for the smaller market leagues and their teams. Next to a theoretical argumentation, we provide empirical evidence and assess future options for the structure of European professional football.

Keywords: Bosman case, competitive balance, international labour mobility, professional team sports, stepping stone league

JEL Classification: J61, L52, L83

Suggested Citation

Dejonghe, Trudo and Van Opstal, Wim, The Consequences of an Open Labour Market in a Closed Product Market in the Economic Environment of European Professional Football (December 1, 2008). International Association of Sports Economists Working Paper No. 0830, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1330384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1330384

Trudo Dejonghe (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Lessius University College ( email )

Department of Business Studies
Korte Nieuwstraat 33
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

Wim Van Opstal

KU Leuven - HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society ( email )

Parkstraat 47
Leuven, BE3000
Belgium

Leuven University College ( email )

Abdij van Park 9
Leuven, 3001
Belgium

Federal Planning Bureau ( email )

Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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