In this paper, we argue that altered incentives for clubs to develop star players after the Bosman ruling can explain why European football has seen lower competitive balance in the Champions League but more competitive balance at the national level. By having a profound impact on the transfers of players within the European Union (EU), the Bosman ruling led to stiffer bidding competition over football stars. We show that this spurred talent development primarily in EU countries without established top clubs having a positive impact on their junior and senior national teams' performance. However, the stiffer bidding competition also led to a lower competitive balance in the Champions League, as non‐established clubs prefer to sell their star players instead of challenging the top clubs. We provide empirical evidence consistent with these findings.
Talent Development and Labour Market Integration in European Football
Scientific Article in English