Third-party ownership in the football industry

Third-party ownership (TPO) of football players (Chadwick & Hamil, 2009; Reck & Geey, 2011; Robatinho, 2014) is an emerging phenomenon in the international football industry (Baroncelli, 2004; Dobson, Goddard, 2001; Kesenne, 2007); it is recognised in different ways depending on the perspective adopted by the parties involved in its utilisation. First of all, TPO in the football industry can be observed as a financial instrument through which third parties – such as investment funds, public agents or private investors – acquire a share of a footballer’s rights. This instrument helps clubs in the acquisition of young footballers and guarantees economic earnings to third parties. In other words, TPO of footballers (Capasso and Rossi, 2013) is a useful instrument to reduce the financial requirements of football clubs in the acquisition of professional football players’ rights, though there is no common regulation among countries and federations at the international level. Thus, TPO

Alcohol and football crowd behaviour

Heineken have recently extended their sponsorship as the official beer sponsor of the UEFA Champions League until 2015, marketing under the slogan “Heineken and the UEFA Champions League: Great Together”. This is not a view that appears to be shared by UEFA, because tournament regulations prohibit the purchase of any beer at Champions League matches in all bar executive facilities. The reason for the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in spectator areas of the stadium is because of the belief that alcohol is related to instances of football crowd disorder or ‘hooliganism’. It is accepted that alcohol consumption acts as a dis-inhibitor when it comes to the behaviour of human beings, which is of course one of the reasons it is so popular, and one might assume that it follows from this that alcohol increases the risk of an individual becoming involved in violence or disorder. In fact, despite

2018 World Cup Russia: Heading towards excesses

Yet another expenditure record While the heart-stopping finish of the World Cup preparations is keeping the world’s eyes on Brazil, troubles are quietly brewing in the next host country. The paint is barely dry on Russia’s Winter Olympics facilities, but the nation is already gearing up to host the next mega-event. As with Sochi, which cost at least US$51 billion, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is en route to becoming the most expensive ever. A 2013 government act (Postanovlenie 518) fixed the minimum budget at $21 billion (660 billion rubles) – and that’s just for hosting the event. As the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Igor Shuvalov, remarked: “We have trimmed absolutely everything. There is nothing obsolete, not a single obsolete object. [We have kept in the budget] only what is associated with the World Cup”. Yet, even this bare bones event comes in at almost double the current estimated

A prediction of the 2014 World Cup finalist based on shirt suppliers

The FIFA World Cup (hereafter WC) is not only a tournament between national teams, but also a contest between kit suppliers. The WC is the largest sporting event in the world and the global market for football apparel, shoe and equipment is a multibillion market. Adidas and Nike, the two main rivals in the soccer footwear market, experience a boost in football-related sales just before and during the WC tournaments. Adidas is the Official Licensee and Supplier of the FIFA World Cup and since the 1970 WC it has supplied the match balls. The Adidas logo is on the referee uniforms, it has advertisements in the stadiums and its logo on the official FIFA World Cup website. It has also been the supplier for the German team for five decades since 1954. Nike paid the French football federation, up to 2010 supplied by Adidas, more than $500 million to be

Bayesian networks for unbiased assessment of referee bias in football

Introduction and methodology The notion that football referees are biased towards certain teams or in certain contexts is widely accepted by football pundits and supporters. In fact, whether or not such bias exists is an area of increasing interest that attracts the attention of researchers from the domains of sport science, psychology, statistics and computer science. Irrespective of the true underlying causes, there is no doubt that ‘playing at home’ has a significant impact on a team’s success. Referees themselves are believed to contribute to home advantage by favouring home teams on the basis of penalty kicks, free kicks, yellow/red cards and/or extra time (Nevill et al., 1996; 1999; 2002; Sutter & Kocher, 2004; Boyko et al., 2007; Downward & Jones, 2007; Dawson et al., 2007; Dohmen, 2008; Buraimo et al., 2010; Goumas, 2012). However, these believed biases could be explained by team performance. The increased number of fouls, yellow

FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil: Football and Fan Parks

The growth in sports mega events has seen spectacles such as the Olympics Games and the World Cup adopt increasing global significance. Reflecting the widespread manipulation of meanings, these quadrennial competitions are subject to varying receptions, interpretations and analysis. Popular and media responses have both reflected and shaped the increasing consumption of sporting hyper-experiences. Such accounts are typically less concerned with the snobbery that has curtailed scholarly analysis, with academic researchers often encouraged instead to focus their inquiries on matters ‘more serious’ than sport. Thankfully there has been some considerable resistance, with many academics willing to investigate that which matters to significant portions of populations. As most inhabitants of planet earth will be acutely aware – particularly during the ongoing World Cup – sport really matters to people. Scholars seeking to frame and expand our understanding of sporting festivals have focused their lens through various intersecting academic disciplines, including economics,

They think it’s all over: National identity, scoring in the last minute, and penalty shootouts

Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” Gary Lineker, BBC Sport presenter and former England captain “When the Germans play well they become world champion; if they play poor they reach the final.” Michel Platini, President of UEFA and former France captain Within the first eight minutes of the 1954 world cup final, Hungary had raced to a two goal lead. No one believed that West-Germany – or anyone – could beat Hungary. The previous year the “Mighty Magyars” became the first team to beat England at Wembley. But this did not stop Germany from staking their first claim to a reputation for being a team with a winning mentality – and a team that scores late goals. Helmut Rahn waited until six minutes before the end of the game to score the winner. The final whistle

Changing the hidden rules of football

We love sports for many reasons, from a cultural tradition that teaches each of us to respect and admire sports events, to professional reasons. One of these reasons relates to the ability of the best players and the best teams to hold our attention for lengthy periods. Deeply correlated with the quality of players and teams, it is important to have balanced sports competitions. Balanced competitions tend to disperse the probability of final victory across a large number of teams and thus maintain interest; in contrast, competitions whose winner is easily anticipated tend to lose interest, fans and financial sustainability. This discussion is important with regard to football, especially in the professional European football competitions. Season after season, we observe a concentration of the probability of winning the European professional leagues on a few teams, usually the ones with the largest budgets at the beginning of the competition. However, various

Are England in the most difficult group at the 2014 World Cup?

Since the final draw for the 2014 World Cup on 6 December, there has been discussion of which group is the toughest, the so-called group of death or, in German, the Todesgruppe. Of the eight groups, Groups B, D and G – with Spain, England and Germany, respectively – seem to be the main candidates. According to some of the German media, Germany’s group is the Todesgruppe, while for the English press, England are in the group of death. One reason why England may be in the most difficult group is because it was a victim of the pre-draw in which one of the nine European countries in Pot 4 had to be moved to Pot 2, which initially only contained seven countries. In advance, many feared a horror scenario in which the European country transferred from Pot 4 to Pot 2 was a strong team and was combined with a

Reviewing the performance environment to nurture player development

Producing the world’s leading academy system Developing professional football players is a complex process. Following an independent review of young player development published by the English Premier League and the Football League in 2011, the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) has turned the lenses on improving home-grown talent in England. The EPPP continually references the need to develop an elite environment within academies to ensure that home-grown players prosper. By further understanding the impact the performance environment has upon perceptions of performance, coaches, practitioners and academy managers can further understand the organisational adjustments required to create an optimal performance environment for player development. The performance environment in youth football Pain and Harwood (2007) examined the performance environment of the England youth U18 and U17 teams, and the following factors were determined to specifically influence the environment: planning and organisation, physical environment, tactical factors, development and performance philosophy, psychological factors, physical