Let's put European soccer debt in perspective

Fri, Sep 24
3:25
PM ET

Maybe the Tea Party has a point: In racking up an ever-growing national debt over the past decade, America is becoming more European. Specifically, we're becoming more like European soccer. In an eye-opening article, ESPN.com's Leander Schaerlaeckens points out that European soccer spending is gloriously, frighteningly out of control, with the top 10 most indebted continental clubs owing $5.74 billion among them. What do the numbers mean? How to put them in context? Glad you asked. Below, a handy comparison chart:



Sources: 2010 CIA World Factbook, Forbes Magazine, New York Times, The U.K. Guardian, Los Angeles Times.