Free agency for European soccer had little effect, study says

March 14, 2012 By Jeffron Boynés

The overall effects of European soccer's "Bosman ruling" appear to have been fairly minor, a new University of Illinois at Chicago study finds.

The controversial ruling allowed any soccer player whose contract had expired to move freely to another club and ended player-nationality restrictions at the club level.

"This issue is a big one in European and world soccer," says John Binder, associate professor of finance in the UIC College of Business Administration. "The Bosman ruling has been blamed for all kinds of things, such as when a country doesn't do well in the , the influx of foreign of players after the ruling is the excuse. The bulk of the evidence shows otherwise."

Binder and Murray Findlay, a UIC MBA graduate, examined the major European soccer playing countries before and after the ruling in 1995. Their study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Sports Economics, found that the overall effects on national teams, contrary to , were small. In addition, at the club level, there is little evidence that the competitive balance of the domestic leagues in Europe was seriously harmed.

"The Effects of the Bosman Ruling on National and Club Teams in Europe" is available free for a limited time at:

Explore further: ISS crew to chat with champion soccer team

Related Stories

Professor predicts Brazil will win World Cup

June 9, 2010

( -- Government professor Christopher Anderson, a former semi-pro soccer player, has launched a statistically based soccer blog. He predicts Brazil will take the cup in South Africa this summer.

Using science to identify true soccer stars

June 16, 2010

( -- As a young boy growing up in Portugal, Luis Amaral loved playing, watching and talking soccer. Amaral and his friends passionately debated about which players were "the best." But, it was just a matter of ...

Recommended for you

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

November 24, 2015

Many animals exhibit learned behaviors, but humans are unique in their capacity to build on existing knowledge to make new innovations. Understanding the patterns of how new generations of tools emerged in prehistoric societies, ...

How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles

November 19, 2015

(—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property ...

First Londoners were multi-ethnic mix: museum

November 23, 2015

A DNA analysis of four ancient Roman skeletons found in London shows the first inhabitants of the city were a multi-ethnic mix similar to contemporary Londoners, the Museum of London said on Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.