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International -- Readers Report
FOOTBALL'S ENDLESS STREAK IN EUROPE (int'l edition)
Your excellent article, "Football's big score" (European Business, Sept. 16) misses the posts in certain minor respects. You claim that "the surge in football's popularity is creating a new class of visible, very healthy owners." I believe this is wrong.
Just because the U.S., Japan, and the financial press have only recently discovered football does not mean there is any increase in its popularity in Europe or South America. Football has always been as popular there as it is today. Ask anyone in Holland who is old enough to remember about his country's worst humiliation at the hands of Germany: You will not hear war stories, but rather the tale of the country's 2-1 defeat in the 1974 World Cup Final.
Statistics about retired football stars from the 1950s and 1960s are remembered by European and South American fans even today. For at least two decades, empty streets have been common in cities across Europe when a very important game of the local team is being broadcast live.
As far as club owners are concerned, those of today are no wealthier and no more visible than those of the past. Bosses that wished to be visible have always been so and have always made headlines.