Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Government Screws Up

Martin Samuel gives an example from football
...the French presidency puts forward its proposals for a European financial commission for football, in the image of La Direction Nationale du ContrĂ´le de Gestion (DNCG), which monitors the sport in France. The DNCG ensures adherence to national and Uefa regulations and financial governance measures.

It can enforce transfer bans, place limits on budgets and payrolls, dock points, relegate, prevent promotion and, in extreme cases, exclude. It is run, as these things always are, by commissions composed largely of lawyers, accountants and, no doubt, politicians.

The French ... want to impose the same arrangement on clubs throughout Europe. As if their model has produced a wonderful, competitive, egalitarian league; as if what football needs is more interference from bureaucrats.

It is easy to blow a hole in French intellectual supremacy with one fact: Lyons have won the league title for the past seven seasons (and are seven points clear at present), making the league run by the DNCG the least competitive throughout Uefa's 53 members, with one exception: Moldova.


For one club to dominate a competition for as long as Lyons have held sway in Ligue 1 is exceptional. Holding up the most predictable, and therefore by definition the worst, leading league in Europe as the torch for all to follow is a monument to French arrogance.

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