The commercialization of sport since the 1990s has had a number of consequences. The market forces that have defined commercialization, notably pay-per-view television, whilst initially welcomed as important new sources of revenue, have also had the unanticipated consequences of de-stabilizing many sporting competitions and institutions, undermining the financial future of clubs in their traditional role as key social and cultural institutions. This has been manifested in the paradox of chronic financial loss-making amongst professional sports’ clubs in an era of exponential revenue growth, a trend exemplified by the experience of Italy’s Series A and the English Premier League – both cases examined in detail in this book.
But, at the same time, some traditional sporting organizations have sought with some success, to chart a middle way, retaining traditional sporting movement objectives whilst also embracing a form of commercialism. The Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland, the supporter-owned FC Barcelona football club, and New Zealand rugby union, offer illustrative examples of such strategies examined in detail. This book explores the background to this clash of commercial and traditional sporting objectives, and debates the consequences for wider sports governance.
This book was published as a special issue of Soccer and Society.
1. Introduction: models of football governance and management in international sport David Hassan and Sean Hamil 2. Financial performance in English professional football: ‘an inconvenient truth’ Sean Hamil and Geoff Walters 3. The governance and regulation of Italian football Sean Hamil, Stephen Morrow, Catharine Idle, Giambattista Rossi and Stefano Faccendini 4. Governance and the Gaelic Athletic Association: time to move beyond the amateur ideal? David Hassan 5. Who owns England’s game? American professional sporting influences and foreign ownership in the Premier League John Nauright and John Ramfjord 6. ‘Club versus country’ in rugby union: tensions in an exceptional New Zealand system Camilla Obel 7. The impact of televised football on stadium attendances in English and Spanish league football Babatunde Buraimo, Juan Luis Paramio and Carlos Campos 8. The model of governance at FC Barcelona: balancing member democracy, commercial strategy, corporate social responsibility and sporting performance Sean Hamil, Geoff Walters and Lee Watson
The social, cultural (including media) and political study of sport is an expanding area of scholarship and related research. While this area has been well served by the Sport in the Global Society series, the surge in quality scholarship over the last few years has necessitated the creation of Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives. The series will publish the work of leading scholars in fields as diverse as sociology, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, cultural geography and history, political science and political economy. If the social and cultural study of sport is to receive the scholarly attention and readership it warrants, a cross-disciplinary series dedicated to taking sport beyond the narrow confines of physical education and sport science academic domains is necessary. Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives will answer this need.