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Accounting for the cost of sports-related violence: A case study of the socio-politics of “the” accounting entity

Jane Baxter (School of Accounting, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Martin Carlsson-Wall (Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)
Wai Fong Chua (University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Kalle Kraus (Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden) (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 15 November 2019

Issue publication date: 18 November 2019




The purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of “the” accounting entity, demonstrating how it is a contestable socio-political construction informed by a nexus of market, state and community actors.


A case study method is utilised to follow debate relating to Swedish football clubs’ responsibility for the payment/non-payment of policing costs between 1999 and 2014. The case study uses documentary and interview data, focusing on one of the high-risk Stockholm clubs.


The paper makes four main contributions: first, demonstrating how the accounting entity is a changeable and contestable construction; second, outlining how distinctions informing contests about the accounting arena are materialised through accounting calculations and other devices; third, showing the importance of community in a coordinated sense in mediating accounting practices; and fourth, contributing to the literature on accounting and sport, highlighting the importance of state actors in this arena.


This research draws on original empirical data providing unique insights into debates regarding the responsibility for the payment of police costs in the context of sports-related violence. The authors show the importance of characterising accounting for sporting organisations as a shifting and contestable nexus of market, state and community actors.



This paper forms part of a special section “Accounting and the business of sport: playing the numbers game”.


Baxter, J., Carlsson-Wall, M., Chua, W.F. and Kraus, K. (2019), "Accounting for the cost of sports-related violence: A case study of the socio-politics of “the” accounting entity", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 32 No. 7, pp. 1956-1981.



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