IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/spomar/v8y2005i2p95-117.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Australian Football League's Recent Progress: A Study In Cartel Conduct And Monopoly Power

Author

Listed:
  • Stewart, Bob
  • Nicholson, Matthew
  • Dickson, Geoff

Abstract

Over the last twenty-five years, the Australian Football League (AFL), and its predecessor, the Victorian Football League (VFL) has become a central feature of the Australian sporting landscape by creating and managing a national competition. However, in the 1980s it was a Melbourne-based league facing serious structural and financial problems as player costs exploded. At the same time, a number of clubs were unable to trade profitably, and the richer clubs were toying with the idea of forming a break-away competition. The transformation of the AFL from a parochial suburban competition to heavily commercialised national league is analysed through the prism of cartel structure and conduct. It is concluded that first, even in its previous guise as the VFL, it adopted many cartel-like features, including controls over player transfers, fixed admission prices, and gate equalisation policies. Second, the establishment of a governing Commission in 1984 strengthened its monopoly power, and enabled it to set a singular vision for the game's development. This vision, in turn, enabled the AFL to create a national participation program that became the envy of every other sport association in Australia. Third, in achieving this outcome, the AFL tightened its authority over its member teams, administrators, coaches and players. Finally, within this cartel arrangement, member clubs surrendered their autonomy in return for an assurance that they would share the benefits from the AFL's growth and national expansion. In short, the AFL has strategically exploited its cartel features and monopoly power to become Australia's dominant sports league.

Suggested Citation

  • Stewart, Bob & Nicholson, Matthew & Dickson, Geoff, 2005. "The Australian Football League's Recent Progress: A Study In Cartel Conduct And Monopoly Power," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 95-117, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:95-117
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1441352305700358
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen F. Ross, 2003. "Competition Law as a Constraint on Monopolistic Exploitation by Sports Leagues and Clubs," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 569-584, Winter.
    2. Schofield, J A, 1982. "The Development of First-Class Cricket in England: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 337-360, June.
    3. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Assessment: The Economics of Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 467-477, Winter.
    4. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-146, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Aaron C.T. & Stewart, Bob, 2010. "The special features of sport: A critical revisit," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, February.
    2. Tuck, Geoffrey N., 2015. "From father to son: A review and demographic analysis of the Australian Football League's Father–Son rule," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 596-608.
    3. Meiklejohn, Trevor & Dickson, Geoff & Ferkins, Lesley, 2016. "The formation of interorganisational cliques in New Zealand rugby," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 266-278.
    4. Kunkel, Thilo & Doyle, Jason P. & Funk, Daniel C., 2014. "Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product – The case of the Australian A-League," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 470-483.
    5. Ross Booth, 2009. "Sports Economics," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 42(3), pages 377-385.
    6. Jakee, Keith & Kenneally, Martin & Mitchell, Hamish, 2010. "Asymmetries in scheduling slots and game-day revenues: An example from the Australian Football League," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 50-64, February.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:95-117. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/716936/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.