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How stakeholders influence football clubs' strategy?

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par Eric Bailly
Staffordshire University (UK) - M.Sc. in European Management Strategy 2003
  

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4.3.9. Players' agents

In France, players' agents suffer of bad reputation, so clubs communicate as rarely as possible with them. They only request their services when needed, during the transfer

How stakeholders influence football clubs' strategy ? September 2003

periods (January and the summer). The rest of the season, agents seek clubs but most ofthem do not even meet them.In Great-Britain, football clubs keep respectful relationship with the agents and work withthem all year long. Communication with the agents, although careful and confidential,remains important to them.

Top managers of the clubs deal directly with the agents and their players, only when theyare interested in buying a player. Agents are numerous and clubs do not attach any specialimportance when negotiating with them. They have an opportunist attitude, like wouldhave recommended Archer (1995).Less important clubs tried to avoid agents and to deal directly with players, to save up thecost of an agent's commission. But this era is now over, every player now has his agent,even some players of ten years old already signed with agents. Clubs recognize that agents'administrative and negotiating skills are useful when realizing a player transfer.

4.3.10. Other clubs

Football clubs are in direct contact and confrontation each and every week at the stadium. Football clubs do not communicate frequently with each other, excepted when they negotiate players' transfers.

Archer (1995) and Mendelow (1991) recommend football clubs to make minimum efforts managing their competitors and even to try to find a compromise with them. A compromise is impossible when clubs' successes depend on others' failures. But according to the theory, football clubs' managers do not make efforts to treat their competitors though they try to keep a respectful and positive attitude towards them.

4.3.11. Interests groups

Considering the clubs of this study, only one is a member of the G14 association. Liverpool F.C. is an active member of this group and so is regularly in contact with it. Liverpool F.C. sends one of its most important managers to the G14's meeting in Brussels

How stakeholders influence football clubs' strategy ? September 2003

twice a season. They also pay a `subscription' to finance this group which employs five persons to communicate and defend their interests. The football clubs' interests are united in this group, so management with this stakeholder's category is enthusiastic.

Concerning the presidents' association, presidents of football clubs attend these meetings regularly and so are parts of it. In France, Gervais Martel, R.C. Lens' president is also the president of the U.C.P.F.

4.3.12. Government

Football clubs in both countries are not in direct contact with the government, the LFP and the Premier League are.

When theorists would make minimum efforts and have an opportunist attitude with this stakeholder, football clubs are careful about their behaviour with ministers. They are at the top of the football business' hierarchy pyramid. In France and England, football clubs invite ministers to games and are pleased to welcome them at the stadium. British clubs are more reactive to their government's demand. The example of Stoke City

F.C. putting a `green card' in place to fight violence in its stadium is a direct response to the government's wishes. Liverpool and F.C. and Tony Blair's team also work together on community programs.

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