Football, a microcosm of life

The legendary Bill Shankly famously said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”. Judging by my use of football analogies in my commentary one could be forgiven for believing that I too share his fanaticism. While I realise that football and the fortunes of Liverpool FC does not have the same influence over the lives of others as it does mine, these analogies are intended to try and make the subject of economics and finance more accessible to everyone. For me, football is just a microcosm of the economic system and life in general. After all, the macro economy is simply the aggregate output of the behaviour of many individuals, companies and governments (all made up of individuals).

The same principles that provide the foundation for success in sport apply to the world of business and finance. Successful football clubs, leading companies and efficient governments (if they exist, maybe Singapore?) all share common characteristics. Shanks had a simple philosophy of aspiring to being the best at whatever you do; “if everyone thinks along these lines, and does all the small jobs to the best of their ability, that’s honesty. Then the world would be better, then the football world would be better”. As for Liverpool FC, the Kop will be doing their best to inspire a courageous performance tonight in the Champions League!!

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