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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Promotion and Relegation: European Football

An interesting remark in a discussion thread on Football Outsiders about "competitiveness" both economic and between the lines lays out the champions of major European football leagues since the English Premiership was formed in 1992. I'm going to steal quote at length here:

England:
1992/3: Manchester United
1993/4: Manchester United
1994/5: Blackburn Rovers
1995/6: Manchester United
1996/7: Manchester United
1997/8: Arsenal
1998/9: Manchester United
1999/2000: Manchester United
2000/1: Manchester United
2001/2: Arsenal
2002/3: Manchester United
2003/4: Arsenal
2004/5: Chelsea (post-Abramovich)
2005/6: Chelsea
2006/7: League ongoing; Manchester United lead by a game from Chelsea. (after Chelsea coughed up a draw against Arsenal today, it's just one -ed.)

The same time period in Italy’s Serie A:
1992/3 – AC Milan
1993/4 – AC Milan
1994/5 – Juventus
1995/6 – AC Milan
1996/7 – Juventus
1997/8 – Juventus
1998/9 – AC Milan
1999/2000 – Lazio
2000/1 – Roma
2001/2 – Juventus
2002/3 – Juventus
2003/4 – AC Milan

…and Spain’s La Liga:
1992/3 Barcelona
1993/4 Barcelona
1994/5 Real Madrid
1995/6 Atlético Madrid
1996/7 Real Madrid
1997/8 Barcelona
1998/9 Barcelona
1999/2000 Deportivo La Coruna
2000/1 Real Madrid
2001/2 Valencia
2002/3 Real Madrid
2003/4 Valencia
2004/5 Barcelona
2005/5 Barcelona

That's the end of what's liberated from FO ... but to expand the theme, here are the German Budesliga champions

1992/3 Werder Bremen
1993/4 Bayern Munich
1994/5 Borussia Dortmund
1995/6 Borussia Dortmund
1996/7 Bayern Munich
1997/8 F.C. Kaiserslautern
1998/9 Bayern Munich
1999/00 Bayern Munich
2000/1 Bayern Munich
2001/2 Borussia Dortmund
2002/3 Bayern Munich
2003/4 Werder Bremen
2004/5 Bayern Munich
2005/6 Bayern Munich

... and in the top Dutch league ...

1993-94 Ajax
1994-95 Ajax
1995-96 Ajax
1996-97 PSV Eindhoven
1997-98 Ajax
1998-99 Feyenoord
1999-00 PSV Eindhoven
2000-01 PSV Eindhoven
2001-02 Ajax
2002-03 PSV Eindhoven
2003-04 Ajax
2004-05 PSV Eindhoven
2005-06 PSV Eindhoven

Pretty amazing. Association football is organized as interlocking tiers of clubs; every year, the best teams in lower tiers are promoted and the worst in upper tiers relegated. It's a system with considerable class mobility at least in the middle sections: on a good or bad run, teams can go from contending for the championship to playing a few steps above a weekend beer league. It creates a lot of interim rewards other than championships for teams to aspire to, which keeps a lot more legitimate on-the-field interest going late into seasons.

But since it's not a closed cartel of owners, there's no framework to arrange field-leveling measures like revenue sharing. It's as if the New York Yankees were totally unconstrained by any consideration of whether the Kansas City Royals could stay competitive -- if they go down, just bring up the Durham Bulls next year.

At least, that's one made-up story. It could just be that futbol is more dynasty-friendly.

1 Comments:

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Sportingo said...

Would you be interested in publishing some articles on sports?

michelle@sportingo.com

 

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