A longitudinal and comparative analysis of competitive balance in five European football leagues

Girish Ramchandani (Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Daniel Plumley (Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Sophie Boyes (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Rob Wilson (Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Publication date: 13 August 2018

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on competitive balance in the “big five” European football leagues, namely, the English Premier League, French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses recognised measures of competitive balance to measure levels of concentration (within-season competitive balance) and dominance (between-season competitive balance) in the selected leagues over 22 seasons between 1995/96 and 2016/17.

Findings

French Ligue 1 emerged as the most balanced league in terms of both concentration and dominance measures. The analysis also points to a statistically significant decline in competitive balance in all leagues apart from Serie A (Italy).

Originality/value

The findings of this study are of concern for the league organisers. Competition intensity is a key component of a sport league, and a league that is dominated by one or a select few clubs is less attractive within the marketplace. This paper presents challenges at the league governance level for the five leagues examined.

Keywords

Citation

Ramchandani, G., Plumley, D., Boyes, S. and Wilson, R. (2018), "A longitudinal and comparative analysis of competitive balance in five European football leagues", Team Performance Management, Vol. 24 No. 5/6, pp. 265-282. https://doi.org/10.1108/TPM-09-2017-0055

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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