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Football has become more superstar-centric

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Commenting on the Neymar transfer, soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski has said that it shows how a team sport has moved towards a superstar-centric model.

He told the Financial Times, 'If you think how football was 30 years ago, the overwhelming majority of a team's money came from the local fan base.   The difference today is the global reach of teams, through all forms of media, so that the revenue generating potential comes from global celebrities like Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo.'

Szymanski told the Pink 'Un, 'It's not impossible to imagine, bizarrely, that this transfer may even pay off one day.'

It could be that all this is a consequence of the cult of celebrity in society generally, although sport and especially football has been one of the drivers of that trend.

Neymar's transfer has been a dent to La Liga's allure and self-image.   The Premier League lost some of its glamour when Ronaldo left Manchester United.