Why Europe’s ‘Super League’ Crashed and Burned

Metal figures of football players in front of the words ‘European Super League’ and the UEFA logo in this illustration, April 20, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)
The economics of symbolism are at the heart of what went wrong.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n one of the opening chapters of Thomas Carlyle’s History of the French Revolution, we find an extended meditation on the psychological potency of symbolism. “Of man’s whole terrestrial possessions and attainments,” he writes, “unspeakably the noblest are his Symbols, divine or divine-seeming; under which he marches and fights, with victorious assurance, in this life-battle; what we call his Realised Ideals.” By “Symbols” or “Realised Ideals,” Carlyle means particulars that incarnate or represent universals. The most obvious examples of symbols in this sense are flags. Even though, in particular terms, they’re just sheets of fabric with colored designs, they nevertheless


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