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The 'Typical' Club? A Configuration Analysis of Scottish Football Clubs

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Adams
  • Stephen Morrow
  • Ian Thomson

    (Heriot-Watt University)

Abstract

The focus of this paper is the complex relationships amongst ownership, financing, accountability and governance structures on the performance, resilience and perceived value of Scottish professional football clubs. However, there are numerous clubs which would regard themselves as successful without recently, or indeed ever, winning a trophy. For many, avoiding relegation or surviving until the end of the season could constitute success. Many contemporary professional football clubs are now complex businesses, intrinsically concerned with financial matters. Yet it is not uncommon for financially secure clubs to be criticised while the owners of clubs with extreme levels of indebtedness are praised for their commitment. We conceptualise football clubs as boundary objects; organizations that co-exist in different social worlds, serving different functions for those in these social worlds. Football clubs can be seen as spaces where different values/ideas can be translated and exchanged, and therefore the value of a football club is something that a club co-determines through engagement with its key stakeholders. The resilience of a football club is likely to be affected by a combination of different notions of value and the diversity of roles demanded by its network of stakeholders. This suggests that it is the alignment between a club’s ownership structure, governance mechanisms, accountability and methods of financing and the demands from the social worlds in which it inhabits that will be critical for the success, however defined, of a club.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Adams & Stephen Morrow & Ian Thomson, 2016. "The 'Typical' Club? A Configuration Analysis of Scottish Football Clubs," CFI Discussion Papers 1601, Centre for Finance and Investment, Heriot Watt University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hwe:cfidps:1601
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Scottish football; configuration analysis; boundary objects; supporter ownership.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M49 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Other
    • Z21 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Industry Studies

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