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Top Clubs’ Performance and the Competitive Situation in European Domestic Football Competitions


  • Tim Pawlowski

    (Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Germany,

  • Christoph Breuer

    (Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Germany)

  • Arnd Hovemann

    (Ernst & Young AG in Essen)


The increase in payouts to European football clubs appearing in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League (CL) in 1999-2000 had a lasting impact on the performance of top clubs in domestic football leagues. This policy change is treated as a natural experiment to compare the level of competitive balance in five top European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France) before and after the turn of the millennium. Based on several competitive balance measures, this article reveals a significant decrease in competitive balance after the modification of the CL payout system.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Pawlowski & Christoph Breuer & Arnd Hovemann, 2010. "Top Clubs’ Performance and the Competitive Situation in European Domestic Football Competitions," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(2), pages 186-202, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:11:y:2010:i:2:p:186-202

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Gürtler & Markus Lang & Tim Pawlowski, 2015. "On the Release of Players to National Teams," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 16(7), pages 695-713, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Grabar, Vsevolod & Sonin, Konstantin, 2018. "Financial Restrictions and Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," CEPR Discussion Papers 13154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Warnke, Arne Jonas & Sittl, Roman, 2016. "Competitive Balance and Assortative Matching in the German Bundesliga," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145838, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "It is Harder, not Easier, to Predict the Winner of the Champions League," LICOS Discussion Papers 32913, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    6. Egon Franck & Markus Lang, 2014. "A Theoretical Analysis of the Influence of Money Injections on Risk Taking in Football Clubs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(4), pages 430-454, September.
    7. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets," Working Papers 108/11, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    8. Jean-pascal Gayant & Nicolas Le Pape, 2012. "How to account for changes in the size of Sports Leagues? The Iso Competitive Balance Curves," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1715-1723.
    9. Feddersen, Arne & Humphreys, Brad & Soebbing, Brian, 2012. "Cost Incentives in European Football," Working Papers 2012-13, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    10. Franziska Prockl & Dirk Semmelroth, 2018. "Perception Versus Reality - Competitive Balance In Major League Soccer From 1996 – 2016," Working Papers Dissertations 36, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    11. Dominik Schreyer & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Game Outcome Uncertainty and Television Audience Demand: New Evidence from German Football," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 19(2), pages 140-161, May.
    12. Andrzej Sznajder, 2010. "Równowaga sił konkurentów na rynku sportu profesjonalnego," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 10, pages 79-95.
    13. Martin Grossmann & Andreas Hefti & Markus Lang, 2012. "Aggregative Contests and Ex-post Heterogeneity: the Case of the UEFA Champions League," Working Papers 0161, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    14. Müller, Oliver & Simons, Alexander & Weinmann, Markus, 2017. "Beyond crowd judgments: Data-driven estimation of market value in association football," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 263(2), pages 611-624.
    15. Antonio Ávila-Cano & Francisco Triguero-Ruiz, 2018. "The distribution of soccer leagues scores that generates the minimum of competitive balance: Truncated-Cascade Distribution," Working Papers 2018-04, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    16. Dorian Owen & Caitlin Owen, 2017. "Simulation Evidence on Herfindahl-Hirschman Indices as Measures of Competitive Balance," Working Papers 1715, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2017.
    17. Di Minin, Alberto & Frattini, Federico & Bianchi, Mattia & Bortoluzzi, Guido & Piccaluga, Andrea, 2014. "Udinese Calcio soccer club as a talents factory: Strategic agility, diverging objectives, and resource constraints," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 319-336.


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