(8/26/09) A new season of Premier League soccer has kicked off in England, with the main talking point being the rise of Manchester City and whether or not the vast injection of mountains of Middle Eastern cash will enable them to break into the Big Four of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal.
Despite the Premier League being a bad business model, where financial costs increasingly outstrip returns, it continues to be a dumping ground for the surplus capital of the international super rich, with an overpriced takeover bid of the recently promoted Birmingham City by Hong Kong billionaire Carson Yeung currently under way.
With the Premier League still retaining its ability to attract the best players from around the world, the threat to the indigenous character of English soccer remains toxically strong, and will continue to do so – at least until my predicted financial collapse of the Premiership occurs, which will happen as soon as the stupidity runs out.
On the plus side, the attractiveness of the league to players makes it an almost perfect international testing ground of the relative racial strengths and weaknesses, with many of the best White players going head to head or playing alongside the best Black players, and vice-versa.
I say “almost perfect” because the Premiership is in fact more attractive to the best non-White players than to the best White players. The reason for this is that many of the best White players are from countries (Germany, Italy, and Spain) that have high status leagues on a par with the Premiership, and, everything else being equal, most players would prefer the comfort of playing in their own leagues, amid their native culture and language. This makes the Premiership less attractive, say, for a top German, who can earn just as much at home, than for a top Nigerian, who clearly can’t.
The same factor even applies to the smaller European leagues, many of which can still offer White players, capable of playing in the Premiership but below the elite level, a comparable living to what they would receive in England’s top league.
This can be demonstrated by comparing the number of Scottish and Irish players in the Premiership. Both teams have similar populations with roughly comparable talent pools (In the FIFA rankings of national teams in August Scotland were rated number 24 to the Republic of Ireland’s 37). All else being equal, you would expect a similar number of Scottish and Irish players in the premiership, however, in the latest racial snapshot of the premier league, there were almost three times as many Irish players (19 to 7). This is simply because the organization of Scottish football, in terms of club size, turnover, and player salary, far exceeds that of Irish football – Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers and Celtic remain two of the biggest club teams in the world. This makes the English premiership disproportionately more attractive for the top Irish players than for the top Scottish players.
This effect is even more pronounced when it comes to what’s on offer in Africa and many South American countries. With poor economies, impoverished clubs, and often dangerous conditions, any African player of ability will seek to leave his native land and play abroad. As often as not this usually means England. The same is by no means true for White players, as they can often do just as well being top players in their native leagues as they would lower down the pecking order in England’s Premier League.
While the English Premier League is a good testing ground of the relative soccer abilities of Whites and Blacks, this inherent bias in favor of attracting the best non-White players should be borne in mind. Now onto the numbers!
Looking at the opening games that the 20 premier league clubs played over the weekend of August 15 and 16, and including all substitutes, a total of 274 players made appearances. I divided them into the following disparate categories: White, Black, Mulatto (mixed Black and White), and Miscellaneous. The Mulatto group only included those players who were of very obviously mixed blood. In addition to this a large number of players classified as Blacks would also have some White blood. The Miscellaneous category included Asian players, Middle Eastern players of a non-White appearance, and racial mixtures not involving Blacks, a group already covered under the term Mulatto.
The results were:
WHITES: 162 (59%)
BLACKS: 85 (31%)
MULATTOS: 17 (6%)
MISCELLANEOUS: 10 (4%)
When I took a racial snapshot of the Premiership for the last game of 2008, using a slightly different system, the results were as follows:
WHITES: 171 (63%)
BLACKS: 82 (30%)
MIXED/ OTHERS: 20 (7%)
The most notable difference between the two sets of figures is a decrease of four percentage points in the number of White players, from 63% in December 2008 to 59% in August 2009. As this compares different months and indeed different seasons, I would not be particularly worried. I am reasonably confident that by the time December comes around, factors of stamina, all-round toughness, and cold weather adaptability will increase the proportion of White players to a number comparable to or even higher than last December’s figures.
Regarding the number of English players, by whom, of course, I mean players of unmixed English blood, there was a decrease from last time, from 72 players (26%) to 65 players (24%). This may also be rectified later in the season as some of the hothouse flowers brought in by the Premiership’s bloated transfer market find the going through the Winter increasingly tough. It is also possible, however, that having a large number of high profile non-White and non-English players in the Premiership over a sustained period of time is now having a damaging effect on English football, as young Englishmen and boys get the message that they are merely spectators rather than participants in their own national sport.