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Southampton and the Dark Side of Globalization
The Telegraph, February 16th, 2007 2:57PM



It's a worrying theory pondered by economists across the world: is it a byproduct of globalization that the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer? Well, if you look at English soccer as a model, the answer would appear to be yes.

Regardless of what you think about Liverpool's sale to American sports tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks for nearly $1 billion, the club's new sugar daddies will no doubt provide Rafa Benitez and company with the kind of funds that bring in the world's best and most expensive talent. But, then, think about the Coca-Cola Championship, England's second division. While the trend of Premiership clubs being scooped up by some of the world's richest investors is likely to continue, rich investors aren't likely to be interested in these smaller clubs, says the Telegraph's David Bond.

A true capitalist might argue that lesser investors will come calling for Championship clubs and that success would eventually lead them to being taken over by bigger and bigger financiers. Indeed, that's exactly what's happened at Southampton, a former Premiership club of many years. But nearly seven months after taking the club over, real estate mogul Michael Wilde wants out. The club is losing money, it's fifth in the standings, and could miss out on promotion back to the Premiership. In other words, the investment runs the risk of depreciating further, so Wilde wants to sell. Is the Southampton case a hallmark of globalization? That's the fear. Read the original story...

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