I had forgotten about that. When Thaksin Shinawatra sold Manchester City to Sheikh Mansour, then one of the selling points was the extremely low rent on the new stadium. That stadium had been built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. At public expense. After this week, these people need quite a few of these little reminders.
There is something rather European-sounding about many features of the organisation of top flight sport in the United States. The equal distribution of revenue, the restrictions on the marketing of merchandise, the hard salary caps, the very extensive welfare provision, the requirement that changes of ownership be approved by every club in the league: you would easily believe that those were the rules that bound Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain.
Along with the German model of supporter ownership of 50 per cent plus one of the company, but requiring far less legislative effort to make it happen, the Statute Law should now extend to these shores those features of the land of Stan Kroenke, John W. Henry, and the Glazers. The Big Six, among others, are well looked after because they are socially and culturally important. Well, there has been a deal implicit in that. Clearly, it now needs to be made explicit.
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