Stakeholder salience of economic investors on professional football clubs in Europe

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-530
Journal / PublicationEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number4
Online published11 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Research question: In this study we analyse whether ownership concentration serves as a corporate governance (CG) mechanism for professional football clubs in Europe and show its impact on clubs’ sporting performance. Based on stakeholder salience theory, we examine how investors exert their salience and which objectives they follow. Specifically, we differentiate between economic and sporting investor types and examine whether economic investors act as a CG mechanism.

Research methods: We employ a database of 160 privately and publicly owned football clubs in Europe for the period 2002–2015 to measure the effects driven by ownership concentration after controlling for endogeneity based on a dynamic panel generalized method of moments.

Results and findings: The results indicate that economic investors favour sporting over economic performance. We conclude that the investments in player talent are made under high risk of outcome uncertainty and economic investors do not, or to a lesser extent, monitor club managers’ actions and do not serve as a CG mechanism.

Implications: This implies a need for football clubs’ investors to redefine their role to ensure a functioning governance system. The results further imply that archival CG research in football clubs should acknowledge the dynamic relationship between CG mechanisms and a club’s performance.

Research Area(s)

  • corporate governance, Football clubs, owner identity, ownership concentration, system GMM