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Financial Performance and Corporate Governance in the European Football Industry


  • Panagiotis E. Dimitropoulos

    () (University of Peloponnese)

  • Athanasios Tsagkanos

    () (University of Patras)


The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of corporate governance quality (namely board size, board independence, managerial ownership, institutional ownership, and CEO duality) on the profitability and viability of European Union’s football clubs over the period 2005-2009. Empirical results documented that corporate governance quality (higher managerial and institutional ownership, increased board size and independence, and the separation of the CEO and chairman roles) leads to greater levels of profitability and viability. Further analysis based on clubs’ profitability and viability indicates that sound governance mechanisms are also important for those clubs with intense problems of insolvency and low financial performance. The results of this study dictate the necessity of corporate governance principles for protecting the interests of shareholders and various stakeholders and for maximizing the clubs’ economic results and social return. The empirical findings are robust to several sensitivity tests concerning the specification of the models and the measures of financial performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Panagiotis E. Dimitropoulos & Athanasios Tsagkanos, 2012. "Financial Performance and Corporate Governance in the European Football Industry," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 7(4), pages 280-308, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:7:y:2012:i:4:p:280-308

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boscá, José E. & Liern, Vicente & Martínez, Aurelio & Sala, Ramøn, 2009. "Increasing offensive or defensive efficiency? An analysis of Italian and Spanish football," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 63-78, February.
    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. Van Calster Ben & Smits Tim & Van Huffel Sabine, 2008. "The Curse of Scoreless Draws in Soccer: The Relationship with a Team's Offensive, Defensive, and Overall Performance," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Peter Macmillan & Ian Smith, 2007. "Explaining International Soccer Rankings," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(2), pages 202-213, May.
    5. Robert Houston & Dennis Wilson, 2002. "Income, leisure and proficiency: an economic study of football performance," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 939-943.
    6. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
    7. Robert Hoffmann & Lee Chew Ging & Bala Ramasamy, 2002. "The Socio-Economic Determinants of International Soccer Performance," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 5, pages 253-272, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Rohde & Christoph Breuer, 2016. "Europe’s Elite Football: Financial Growth, Sporting Success, Transfer Investment, and Private Majority Investors," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-20, June.
    2. Stephen Morrow, 2014. "Football finances," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 6, pages 80-99 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    financial performance; profitability and viability; corporate governance; football clubs; UEFA Financial Fair Play;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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