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View Diary: President Obama praises Michael Sam's courage; Survey indicates tolerant attitude among NFL players (41 comments)

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  •  I think cracking down very hard is being (0+ / 0-)

    charitable. Spanish fans made monkey noises and threw bananas on the field at black English players a couple of years back and the fine was a something like 20k euros. A pittance for the Spanish FA

    •  Hey, could and should they do more? Certainly. (0+ / 0-)

      But there are a couple of things to keep in mind...

      Firstly, yes 50,000 euros (roughly 69.000 USD) is a pittance for clubs like Real Madrid, Man U or AC Milan. But there's only about twenty or thirty of those kind of teams in the whole of Europe. In Belgium for example only one team has a budget of more than 30.000.000 €. Only five teams a budget over 20 million. All other teams have budgets of less than ten million. A fifty thousand fine is quite a bit of money for those teams. A second division team would typically have a budget of one to three million. So saying that Barcelona is paying a pittance is the equivalent of saying a speeding ticket is cheap for Warren Buffet. Sure, but neither is typical. There are thousans of clubs in Europe, most of them operating on tiny budgets. Besides the bigger teams lose a lot more money when they are forced to play in empty stadiums. Tickets cost 40 € and up. A typical stadium for one the big teams holds 60,000 people or more. Add in lost revenue from concessions and hospitality and you are talking serious money, even for a big team. Those sky boxes aren't cheap.

      The other issue is that usually it is a small number of fans who are doing this amongst tens of thousands who are behaving properly. Also the owners and management of these teams certainly don't want the bad publicity. There is often little they can do to prevent this awful behavior at the time; the best they can do is, together with the police, identifythe culprits and issue stadium bans. Fining the team, preventing fans from watching their team comes close to collective punishment.

      So I'm all for clamping down, but I think it is also important to not go overboard punishing the wrong people. It's a complex problem, and just demanding harsher punishment sounds good, but is likely to not be very fair and more importantly probably won't solve the problem. It took a long time and combined efforts by the teams, police and others to (mostly) resolve footballs issues with hooliganism and this is likely to be no different I'm afraid.

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 10:43:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Give me a break. Spanish fans are notorious for (0+ / 0-)

        this kind of crap. Its happened frequently and FIFA does, to use a good british expression, sweet fuck all about  it. 20k euros is nothing for the Spanish FA. Compare it to what they fined Nikolas Bendtner at the last world cup because he flashed his underwear which had the logo for an online betting company on it. Over 100k in fines for him. FIFA is a joke when it comes to this kind of stuff. The only time they ever crack down is if it happens to be one of the smaller countries, the rest are free to do what they want basically.

        •  In Europe this in decided by UEFA or FAs not FIFA. (0+ / 0-)

          And it is the clubs, not the national FAs that pay fines, unless the national team is involved.

          As for the 'small countries' stuff, teams fined in 2012, 2013 and 2014 include big teams from big countries like Roma, CSKA Moscow (also forced to play in an empty stadium), the Spanish and Russian national teams and Atletico Madrid is under investigation. That's not nothing. By the way the Atletico Madrid incident involved 500 fans at a game with an attendance of 70.000. Ok, that's five hundred too many to be sure but still a small minority, even if one assumes all of them participated.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:38:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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