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Sir, As a former professional footballer (in the lower divisions of Scotland) and a professional economist for many more years, I read the report by Murad Ahmed and John Burn-Murdoch with great interest (“ Premier League fatigue to blame for Europe failure”, June 3). However, I am very sceptical about their conclusions.

English clubs have undoubtedly performed poorly in the main European competitions for many years but I do not believe that is because the English Premier League is too competitive. I think the Financial Times and most economists would agree that strong competition is good for most if not all consumer industries, such as retailing and financial services. Football should be no exception.

Clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have been more successful recently because they have had a few outstanding players such as Messi and Ronaldo. More importantly, however, they have been well run as businesses, with stable management and sensible control of their finances.

In contrast, many English Premiership clubs, such as Chelsea and Manchester City, seem to be the playthings of owners who are more interested in the publicity and glamour than achievements on the pitch. The easy money from television has made that worse.

How many businesses in England could survive the high managerial turnover now common in English football?

Prof Tony Mackay

Inverness, UK

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English teams’ naivety on the European stage

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