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Abel Duarte Alonso and Michelle O’Shea

In the highly competitive professional sports industry, managers of a newly established competition face many challenges, including “converting” or gaining the allegiance…

Abstract

In the highly competitive professional sports industry, managers of a newly established competition face many challenges, including “converting” or gaining the allegiance of new groups of consumers (fans, spectators) to their colors. One critical aspect in the converting process relates to the “ideal” game-day experience as perceived by would-be consumers. Gaining knowledge about this area could be critical to professional sport marketers in enhancing the perceived quality of sport events. This study examines the ideal football experience among 1,412 fans of an Australian A-League football (soccer) club. The importance of a lively atmosphere, that of high turnouts of spectators and the opportunity to watch quality and attacking football are highlighted in most comments, even relegating the game’s final score (winning) to a more marginal level of importance. Some of the implications of the findings for professional football marketers and avenues for future research are presented and discussed.

Details

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-746-7

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Article

Daniel Plumley, Jean-Philippe Serbera and Rob Wilson

This paper analyses English Premier League (EPL) and English Football League (EFL) championship clubs during the period 2002–2019 to anticipate financial distress with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses English Premier League (EPL) and English Football League (EFL) championship clubs during the period 2002–2019 to anticipate financial distress with specific reference to footballs' Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected for 43 professional football clubs competing in the EPL and Championship for the financial year ends 2002–2019. Analysis was conducted using the Z-score methodology and additional statistical tests were conducted to measure differences between groups. Data was split into two distinct periods to analyse club finances pre- and post-FFP.

Findings

The results show significant cases of financial distress amongst clubs in both divisions and that Championship clubs are in significantly poorer financial health than EPL clubs. In some cases, financially sustainability has worsened post-FFP. The “big 6” clubs – due to their size – seem to be more financially sound than the rest of the EPL, thus preventing a “too big to fail” effect. Overall, the financial situation in English football remains poor, a position that could be exacerbated by the economic crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are not generalisable outside of the English football industry and the data is susceptible to usual accounting techniques and treatments.

Practical implications

The paper recommends a re-distribution of broadcasting rights, on a more equal basis and incentivised with cost-reduction targets. The implementation of a hard salary cap at league level is also recommended to control costs. Furthermore, FFP regulations should be re-visited to deliver the original objectives of bringing about financial sustainability in European football.

Originality/value

The paper extends the evidence base of measuring financial distress in professional team sports and is also the first paper of its kind to examine this in relation to Championship clubs.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article

Morten Kringstad, Harry Arne Solberg and Tor Georg Jakobsen

Attendance at matches in the smaller European football leagues is challenged by the increased number of live broadcast matches, particularly covering the biggest leagues

Abstract

Purpose

Attendance at matches in the smaller European football leagues is challenged by the increased number of live broadcast matches, particularly covering the biggest leagues. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of live broadcasting, match scheduling and other factors on stadium attendance in the top division of Norwegian football.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a fixed effects regression model on attendance at match levels covering the period 2005 to 2011.

Findings

The main results show two different effects. While live broadcast domestic matches on “free TV” is positively correlated to stadium attendance, the increased number of “imported” matches from the big-five leagues is a substitute. Moreover, matches played on weekdays have a lower level of attendance than weekend matches.

Practical implications

The increased number of imported live broadcast football matches from the biggest European leagues influences and widens the financial gap between the biggest and the smaller football leagues. One possible solution for reducing the substitution effect from these matches is a more efficient match schedule in the Norwegian top division in football.

Originality/value

Norway has a small population with a high interest for football. This paper measures effects on attendance in the Norwegian top division in football matches with regards to the increased number of live broadcast matches both from the domestic league and from the big five football leagues.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article

Nnamdi Madichie

The purpose of this paper is to show how one of the biggest phenomena of the twenty‐first century is the internationalisation of professional sports and how premier league

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how one of the biggest phenomena of the twenty‐first century is the internationalisation of professional sports and how premier league football epitomises this. With the influx of foreign players, managers and now owners, European League Football has become big business. This paper aims to provide a theoretical analysis of the management implications of foreign players in the English Premiership League football – renamed the Barclays Premier League to suit the needs of its major sponsors.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted is purely qualitative in nature, evaluating the top Barclays Premier League teams and the impact of globalisation on their reconfigurations since the early 1990s to date. The study draws mainly from a review of the extant literature on sports and management, as well as a critical analysis of media reports.

Findings

Globalisation has emerged as a new force that has changed the way corporations are managed. Financial services, retail and information technology firms have all responded to this new wave – and so also has sports. Unfortunately while sports have the potential to teach lessons on management strategy, management researchers seem to have relegated sports to the sociology and psychology disciplines.

Practical implications

The Barclays Premier league football provides a unique environment for management decisions and processes to occur in a range of markets and at varied levels. However, the globalisation of professional sports has received relatively very little attention in the academic literature – especially in the field of business and management.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the scant literature on the management implications of football by highlighting how globalisation has affected and reconfigured professional sports using the influx of foreign players into the English football league as a point of departure.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 47 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

David Hudson

Brian Philpotts is Marketing Director of TheFootball League and is soon to take up a similarrole at the FA Premier League. In this interviewhe talks to David Hudson of De…

Abstract

Brian Philpotts is Marketing Director of TheFootball League and is soon to take up a similarrole at the FA Premier League. In this interviewhe talks to David Hudson of De MontfortUniversity about his role and the challenges hefaced after joining The Football League fromNewcastle United in 1999. He shares his experienceand insights on the subject of sports marketingat both league and club level.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article

Heath McDonald, Adam J. Karg and Daniel Lock

It is not uncommon for sports fans to follow multiple sports teams across different sports and even several teams across different leagues of the same sport. Whereas this…

Abstract

Purpose

It is not uncommon for sports fans to follow multiple sports teams across different sports and even several teams across different leagues of the same sport. Whereas this might be considered a competitive situation, the purpose of this paper is to examine how interest in overseas football (soccer) leagues played a symbiotic role in the successful development of an Australian national soccer league.

Design/methodology/approach

Results of survey data are presented from two clubs in Australia's newly formed A‐League. Three surveys were conducted over a two year period with over 3,700 season ticket holders. Specific attention is paid to fans' previous interest and exposure to football, which is then related to attitudes and behaviour associated with the new clubs.

Findings

Interest in overseas clubs and leagues is found to be a major antecedent of interest in the Australian league. Those who follow teams in overseas leagues are more likely to be heavy consumers of the new local league than those who follow local leagues or had no prior experience. They also exhibit stronger attitudinal and behavioural loyalty, such as higher attendance and renewal rates of season tickets.

Practical implications

Recognising fan interest in multiple teams/leagues as positive involves a shift in management thinking away from a competitive to a collaborative stance. In this case, rapid adoption of new teams is encouraged by capitalising on strong interest in overseas leagues. This requires careful structuring and branding of the competition that mimicks familiar foreign leagues, while minimising unfavourable comparisons in areas like quality of play.

Originality/value

This study capitalises on the rare opportunity to examine foundation teams in a new national league. The findings highlight the importance and value of taking a “global” perspective to the marketing of sports, and of carefully leveraging the interest in other elite competitions to build interest in new leagues.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article

Richard Evans, Geoff Walters and Richard Tacon

The purpose of this paper is to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the Salary Cost Management Protocol, a form of financial regulation introduced by the English…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the Salary Cost Management Protocol, a form of financial regulation introduced by the English Football League in 2004 to improve the financial sustainability of professional football (i.e. soccer) clubs.

Design/methodology/approach

The analytical approach is to assess the effect of the regulation from evidence of change in measures of the financial performance of clubs drawing on three criteria: profitability, liquidity and solvency. A unique database was created from the published financial statements and notes to the accounts of the clubs in the Tier 4 league (known since 2004 as League Two) from 1994 to 2014 to encapsulate the 10-year period before and after the regulation was introduced. To show trends in the data within the study period, the data are reported in graphical form. The statistical significance of change in both the slope and intercepts for trends between breaks of interest in the data is estimated by linear regression.

Findings

The results show that financial regulation failed to significantly improve the profitability or the solvency of football clubs in League Two. Whilst the liquidity of the clubs improved in response to the introduction of the financial regulation, the results show this was only in the year in which the financial regulation was introduced.

Research limitations/implications

The results extend theoretical debate on financial regulation in sports leagues by moving beyond the assumption that financial regulation is a “technical exercise” to provide an alternative way of thinking about financial regulation as a “legitimising exercise”.

Originality/value

This is the first study to assess the impact of financial regulation for football league clubs over a longitudinal period. It is also extends previous research in which only single aspects of the financial sustainability of football clubs, such as insolvency, have been considered.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Declan Hill

This paper examines what drives match-fixing in football and why some leagues collapse from corruption. Based on more than 220 interviews with players, referees, sports…

Abstract

This paper examines what drives match-fixing in football and why some leagues collapse from corruption. Based on more than 220 interviews with players, referees, sports officials and law enforcement officers, the gambling industry and corrupters, three factors presented when high levels of match-fixing were observed: strong illegal gambling networks, high levels of relative exploitation of players, and perceived corrupt officials. Leagues collapsed if the public became aware of high-level corruption and an alternative market competitor was introduced.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article

Yang Ma and Markus Kurscheidt

In 2017, the Chinese Super League (CSL), the first professional football division in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), became the highest-spending league in the…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2017, the Chinese Super League (CSL), the first professional football division in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), became the highest-spending league in the international players’ transfer market, with a total spending of €377m. Moreover, the government of the PRC is backing the CSL with an ambitious football plan. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the governance of the CSL by questioning the organisational viability of the league.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to the relevant international literature, this study is based on 14 recent scholarly articles published in Mandarin from 2013 to 2018 to reflect the national academic debate. Moreover, website research on all CSL clubs has been conducted. The institutional analysis follows the integrative change model of Cunningham (2002) complemented by agency and bureaucracy theory.

Findings

The CSL still faces substantial governance problems caused by the divergence of goal setting, organisational inefficiencies and compliance issues. The organisational change is notably constrained by internal competitive value commitments and external power dependency.

Research limitations/implications

The institutional findings on the CSL provide a starting point for empirical studies. The approach contributes to the theory of sport governance processes.

Practical implications

The material and insights are informative for decision makers to evaluate the competitiveness of the CSL.

Originality/value

This paper is the first international in-depth analysis of the governance of the CSL using the body of knowledge published in Mandarin.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article

R.J. Sutherland and M. Haworth

One of the principal findings of the most recent enquiry into professional football was that: “Running a successful league club is now a major commercial activity”. In…

Abstract

One of the principal findings of the most recent enquiry into professional football was that: “Running a successful league club is now a major commercial activity”. In general terms, professional football clubs too were confronted with financial and management problems.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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