The football industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)


Although limiting football to its economic dimension is reductive, this chapter covers football as an
industry. It provides an overview of the evolution of football clubs from local member-based
associations in the 19th century, to billion-dollar, multi-club ownership enterprises today, that are
soft-power tools for governments around the world. As the financial amounts at stake have
increased, so too has the need for strong governance. However, the financial spiral and pursuit for
continued commercial growth is affecting governing bodies too, as the proposed European Super
League set Europe’s top clubs on a collision course with UEFA, the governing body of European
football. The European Super League highlighted a second issue; that of the ‘super club’ whose
interests are often opposed to other teams across the world, and whose spending dwarf the rest of
football. To avoid being left behind, other clubs are increasingly seeking new, and risky, sources of
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on the Law of Professional Football Clubs
EditorsRobby Houben
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781802206975
ISBN (Print)9781802206968
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

This is a draft chapter/article. The final version is available in Research Handbook on the Law of Professional Football Clubs edited by Robby Houben, published in 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Lt 10.4337/9781802206975.00007 The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.


  • Football club
  • Commercialisation
  • Multi-club ownership
  • International investor
  • Nation states
  • Private-equity investor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The football industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this