The contemporary football industry: a value-based analysis of social, business structural and organisational stakeholders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Football exists and evolves in a dynamic ecosystem, displaying a massive and multidimensional influence on most contemporary societies, and football has grown into a significant industry with a plethora of stakeholders. This research is the first to comprehensively identify the key industry stakeholders and their distinct value, from the individual club perspective, and to conceptualise and test their interrelationship toward the development of a corresponding framework of club benefits. Design/methodology/approach: The study applied a multilevel approach to collect and verify qualitative data. It initially developed a preliminary conceptual framework, which was first validated by an expert panel and was subsequently extensively tested in the Cyprus-specific context, which offered fertile ground for such a study. The empirical stage rested on 41 semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with very high-ranking individuals from the top nine football clubs, as well as with key industry stakeholders. Findings: Though the examined industry is partly in line with international norms, it is also highly affected by unique characteristics that alter the various stakeholders' role, producing (even negative) value of varied typologies that is directly linked with the industry's financial, sporting, cultural and social conditions. Research limitations/implications: The research ultimately presents scholars, practitioners and policymakers with a systemic and comprehensive understanding of the individual club stakeholder value offerings, delivers a tested framework as a tool for social and business management and prescribes future avenues for research, governance and practice. Originality/value: Extant studies on the subject are either partial or focus on individual stakeholders and evidently lack requisite scientific comprehensiveness. The current research bridges this significant gap in knowledge by exhaustively identifying the key industry stakeholders, explicating their relative social, economic or other value in the individual club perspective and developing a value-based stakeholder framework.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Accountability
  • Cyprus
  • Football governance
  • Football industry
  • Football management
  • Football stakeholders
  • Football strategy
  • Value co-creation
  • Value-based analysis


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