Player power: capturing value in the English football supply network

Chris Lonsdale (Birmingham Business School, Birmingham University, Birmingham, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 1 December 2004


This paper explores the relationship power, appropriateness in relationship management and the commercial outcomes in buyer and suppler exchange by analyzing the recent history of the involvement of BSkyB in particular, and television companies in general, in the English football supply chain network. The paper describes the major players in the chain and where and how value flows commercially between the major protagonists in the network. The paper shows that although the Premiership football clubs have received an enormous increase in revenue over the last ten years this has not been translated into higher (or in some cases any profits). This is because the club's ability to leverage their customers is not capable of being used against their key suppliers – the players. It is the players (or at least those perceived to be the most talented and saleable) who have been appropriating the major share of value in this supply chain network.



Lonsdale, C. (2004), "Player power: capturing value in the English football supply network", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 383-391.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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