How stakeholders influence football clubs' strategy?
par Eric Bailly
Staffordshire University (UK) - M.Sc. in European Management Strategy 2003
Two majors interests groups exist in football: the football clubs' presidents association (UCPF in France), and the G14 at a European level.
How stakeholders influence football clubs' strategy ? September 2003
The presidents' association negotiates with national football organizations (the LFP and Premier League) and the government, to improve their business conditions. They put pressure to increase television deals amount, to decrease taxes... The G14 is an organization representing the fourteen richest European football clubs. This organisation has the same function as the presidents' association but at an international level: they try to improve football business conditions.
These organisations are football clubs' represents or lobbies and so do not have any direct influence on them. Their influence is indirect and depends on the government and football organizations' decisions.
Government's expectations towards football clubs are similar to institutions' ones: they expect football clubs to get involved in community and charities programs, to develop economically their region (especially employment). Government works to improve the football image because at international competitions, those clubs represents the country. According to the Sir Norman Chester Centre (2002), the current administration and Tony Blair have identified football as an important political tool and a key feature of a modern and integrative Britain.
Although football clubs are mostly ruled by organizations like the LFP and Premier League, they nevertheless have to comply with rules enacted by the government and pay taxes like any company. Government financially encourages clubs to develop education centres, employment programs and community projects. The actual British Prime Minister is also close to Mr Murdoch who owns a media empire and show football games on television in counter part of expensive television rights. At least, some ministers are football fans and clubs can benefit from advantages like renting rooms for government meetings that will increase the notoriety of the clubs.
Banks expect that football clubs pay on time for their loans encourage their players to open accounts with them. Football clubs manage huge amounts of money and are attractive to banks but they are treated like any other traditional company.
Banks only have power on clubs which have financial difficulties to try to improve their situation.
According to the stakeholders' expectations and sources of power, it is possible to adapt the models originally designed by Mendelow (1991) and Archer (1995).
Level of Interest
Employees Players / coaches Players' agents Interests groups Fans Shareholders Media Organizations
Figure 4.1. Mendelow's model applied to football clubs
Source: Mendelow (1991)
Figure 4.2 Archer's model applied to football clubs
Source : Archer (1995).
This stakeholders' mapping is useful to analyse how football clubs manage their stakeholders.