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The corporate governance of professional football clubs

Sean Hamil (Sean Hamil is Deputy Director of the Football Governance Research Centre and Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, University of London. E‐mail: s.hamil@bbk.ac.uk)
Matthew Holt (Matthew Holt is a Research Officer in the Football Governance Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London. E‐mail: m.holt@bbk.ac.uk)
Jonathan Michie (Jonathan Michie is the Sainsbury Professor of Management at Birkbeck, University of London. E‐mail: j.michie@bbk.ac.uk)
Christine Oughton (Christine Oughton is the Director of the Football Governance Research Centre and Head of the Department of Management at Birkbeck, University of London. E‐mail: c.oughton@bbk.ac.uk)
Lee Shailer (Lee Shailer Holt is a Research Officer in the Football Governance Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London. E‐mail: l.shailer@bbk.ac.uk)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

Professional football clubs in England face serious financial and operational difficulties and challenges. Our survey reveals that less than a quarter of football clubs responding had an internal audit committee. Even where clubs had an audit committee, almost one third of those clubs report there being no regular board review of risk assessment reports. The need to undertake risk assessment is now accepted as part of good corporate governance. The collapse of the ITV Digital agreement, which led to Football League clubs losing significant revenue, forcing some into administration, simply illustrates the reasoning behind the practice (following the Turnbull Report). Football clubs (and the companies that own them) need improved corporate governance practice, financial planning and risk assessment procedures; 76 percent of clubs responded that they would benefit from a guide to good corporate governance and 80 percent that they would find advice on Company Law useful.

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Citation

Hamil, S., Holt, M., Michie, J., Oughton, C. and Shailer, L. (2004), "The corporate governance of professional football clubs", Corporate Governance, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 44-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700410534967

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited