Global football: Part IIHow the definitionof globalisation connects to football.Here, I have triedto describe the concentration of power as being from the centre to theperiphery or from the core to the outside or from the outside to the core whichis what makes football global.Another examplethat makes football global is the connection of the small clubs and the bigfive football leagues trying to drain talent from them?If the talent of a football club is dependent on thattalent moving on to a more financially bigger club, what does that mean forclubs that are continually producing young talent and selling it on?If you think about that relationship– of having to sellyour players on to bigger clubs– in the context of the relationship betweensmall countries and big countries, cores and peripheries.
If a country is continually dependent on selling itsfootball talent on to a bigger country, what implications does that have forthe development of that country, or the development of talent in that smallercountry? So the relationship between core and periphery, the relationshipbetween a financially strong football club and a feeder club, these arerelationships which are the heart of this discussion on global football. Now,if we develop that point a little bit further. Here we will talk about the bigfive financially-powerful football leagues. All of them are in Europe.What is the consequence of what we’ve just been talkingabout? The drain of talent. The flow of footballers from less-wealthy places tothe wealthiest places. What does that mean in terms of the flow of footballersinto the big five football leagues in the world? If countries around theworld– Brazil, for example– are continually feeding their best young talentinto these big five football leagues in Europe, what does that mean for thecountries that these players have come from? Is it a continual feederrelationship? Is there a talent drain from country B to country A? Do thesefive financially wealthy European football leagues continually depend upon aflow of talent from less-wealthy places?And what are the benefits to developing countries fromthat flow of talent into these five big football leagues? In a nutshell, wheredoes the money go? Where should it go? And who really benefits from the flow offootball finance around the world? So what is globalisation? Globalisation hasbeen described as the widening, speeding up, and deepening of the way in whichthe world is connected. The term has been used to reflect the compression ofthe world as one whole world.
It refers to a phase of development, whichdistinguishes it from the past. There are at least two competing notions ofglobalisation.Firstly, there is the notion of a world of globalcitizens.
And the issue there is whether football– or globalfootball– can help that global community.So what does global football do to help the notion of aglobal community of citizens?The second notion of globalisation is in terms of thefree market. The global market of finance, some use the notion of capitalism.
And what is the impact of that global free trade market? So one notion ofglobalisation based around common causes and community and citizenship. Andanother notion of globalisation based around the flow of money, the flow offinance, the free trade of money, and capitalism. And in each of these cases,what is the impact on different parts of the world? Is it good or is it bad?Does it help or does it use different places and people?Now, when we talk about some of these ideas related toglobalisation, there are at least four ways in which they connect with globalfootball or international football. And the four ways are political, economic, cultural, andsocial. This refers to the increasing or decreasing number offootball organisations that influence or govern international football. The twomajor ones being FIFA and, to a lesser extent, the International OlympicCommittee.
But we also have UEFA– the Union of European Football Association–and many others. In August 2014, Real Madrid were ranked top club by UEFA,and yet, at this time, Spain was having a number of economic issues. Barcelona,spent a vast amount of money to acquire Luis Suarez, whose salary alone wasestimated to be 10 million pounds. And this was in a country where rates ofunemployment at the time were high.
The exchange of finance, trade, and capitalacross national boundaries, including the trade of football players andmerchandise, the operation, control, and distribution of football finances, oftencontribute to whether countries and places are winners or losers.It’s now more than 20 years ago since the Brazilian Peleasked the question, when will a team from Africa win the World Cup?Africa as a continent is a useful thing to think about inthe context of our discussion on globalisation.Whether we agree with the notion of globalisation whichrefers to human citizenship and working for the common good, or the otherdefinition of globalisation, which refers to the free market economy.If you think about both of these notions of globalisation,does football help Africa?In terms of social responsibility and health for some ofthe poorest parts of the world, does some of the money from football go tohelping good causes in Africa? On the other hand, does the immense talent ofAfrican footballers from different parts of Africa mean that there is a drainof talent out of Africa?Not only into the big five football leagues, but intoother parts of the world? And how much of that money goes back to Africa? So inthe context of the discussion which was started at least by a question thatPele asked 20 years ago, does global football help or hinder Africa? What doyou think? This term refers to the growth and exchange of culture betweennations and people. Many have pointed to the growth of commercial television,internet, and social media platforms as having created a world in whichfootball consumption is more identical than different.
Football is part of thecultural exchange whereby diffusion of culture takes place.Has the exchange of football culture influenced nationalor local cultures into being more similar or different? Technology, of course,is an important aspect of how ideas about culture flow across the world.Footballers help this.
Footballers are icons. Which,because of technology, because of social media, because of their celebritystatus, they become icons for fashion, for tastes. But also, they carrymessages about other things, such as peace and conflict. All of which is helpedbecause of the relationship between technology and culture. Technology helpingideas about culture flow to different parts of the world. The footballer DidierDrogba intervened when his country, Ivory Coast, was at war.
He pleaded forpeace. His celebrity status as an international footballer, an icon within hisown home country of the Ivory Coast, meant that he was an obvious person forcarrying key messages.This became known as Drogba diplomacy.So can international footballers carry diplomaticpolitical messages which help intervene in important situations? This termhelps us to explain that shifting patterns of migration across different partsof the world has turned issues of migration, immigration, and social welfareinto a major issue. The movements of footballers and the patterns of movementbetween countries means that football is not immune from these broader patternsof migration.
And social globalisation helps us to explain this.