While Cyprus might not be a global power in the world of football, there are other areas in which it has lots of influence. For example, it is one of the world leaders in the field of sea going vessels. It’s shipping registry is very well regarded and very competitive on the world stage. This article offers a very good overview of the history and positioning of the registry.
It makes sense that relatively small island nations (especially those in strategic locations) should be involved in the transportation sector and should do so in a way that enables them to grow their market beyond their own limited national borders.
This is certainly an approach shared by other small island nations. Malta, for example, also has a very well regarded and successful shipping registry. It has been a mainstay of the Maltese legal profession for many years and earlier in 2012 it was announced that it is the largest in the EU.
For this reason, Malta is trying to emulate that success in another sector – aviation. There is now a small but growing aircraft registry and a number of law firms (such as http://www.AircraftRegistrationMalta.com) have opened their doors just to specialise in this field. In years to come, it seems likely that small countries such as Cyprus and Malta will be doing battle in this arena as well to win the lucrative contracts and consulting work that is available.
The real sport being played in Cyprus, is not, of course, played with a ball. It is international business. And here in Cyprus it is played on a very large scale – relative to the size of the island.
In fact, the banking crisis of 2012 – which is a part of the eurozone crisis – has highlighted to what extent Cyprus really plays. For example, this story from Spiegel Online discusses the amount of money held by Russian Oligarchs in the Cypriot banking system. The estimate is a little over 20 billion euros, which is similar to the island’s annual GDP.
Admittedly, this report comes at a time when there is a significant amount of paranoia within German society at the amount of money being needed around Europe for bailouts. Understandably so. And it is unusual for the thoughts of an intelligence agency to be publicised, so it is best to read into it what you will. All the same, it highlights just how effective the country has been at attracting foreign capital.
It will come as very little surprise to hear that Cypriots are football-mad along with virtually every nation in the world. Needless to say, the national team of Cyprus isn’t exactly the world’s strongest outfit, and there simply isn’t the revenue in the country to support and fund major league teams as is the case in Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK. For this reason, the gulf between Cypriot teams and the rest looks sure to endure.
In this regard, Cyprus suffers as many other smaller nations do. For example, it is difficult to ever imagine a truly competitive football team coming from Luxembourg, Malta or Estonia. That is not meant to be negative, just realistic. Most football fans are realistic enough themselves which is why teams such as Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus and a few noteable others are able to maintain such large foreign fan bases.
This, of course, helps to provide the television and kit sales incomes that these big clubs need to survive at their level. As is so often the way in life, the winners take all of the good stuff.