IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

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

  • Stewart, Bob
  • Nicholson, Matthew
  • Dickson, Geoff
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    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 look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Sport Management Review.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 95-117

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:95-117
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/716936/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/716936/bibliographic
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/716936/bibliographic

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. 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 337-60, June.
    2. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Assessment: The Economics of Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 467-477, Winter.
    3. 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 121-46, June.
    4. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.