Thursday, 15 October 2020
Monday, 12 October 2020
The Covid pandemic has had a significant effect on the ability of fans to attend soccer games, and resultantly a significant effect on clubs' finances, a topic in the news in recent weeks (campaign to help football and its 'grass roots' ).
Similarly, the need for social distancing extends to other activities at clubs and their grounds, as I (Alex) found out last week.
A meeting with the Commercial Manager of York City FC was conducted not in the office, or even in the Boardroom. Rather, we met pitch-side, sat on the managers dugout/subs bench (and wearing face masks).
We talked about our research on football supporters (segmenting soccer fans by 'value'), football finance and history (Journal of Management History article) and project management (Dynamic sublimes ). We also talked about York City FC's development of a new stadium.
We also discussed exciting opportunities for research, teaching, and other opportunities between our university work and the football club. Watch this space for more details.
Saturday, 26 September 2020
We are pleased to announce a new book based on the Special Issue of 'Soccer & Society' journal that we had a paper in, about the 1966 FIFA World Cup:
As the most popular mass spectator sport across the world, soccer generates key moments of significance on and off the field, encapsulated in events that create metaphors and memories, with wider social, cultural, psychological, political, commercial and aesthetic implications. Since its inception as a modern game, the history of soccer has been replete with events that have changed the organization, meanings and impact of the sport. The passage from the club to the nation or from the local to the global often opens up transnational spaces that provide a context for studying the events that have 'defined' the sport and its followers. Such defining events can include sporting performances, decisions taken by various stakeholders of the game, accidents and violence among players and fans, and invention of supporter cultures, among other things.
About our chapter:
Our paper, included here as a chapter, is: "'‘Filip’or flop? Managing public relations and the Latin American reaction to the 1966 FIFA World Cup'.
"The 1966 FIFA World Cup has become part of the iconography of its hosts and champions, England. Extant literature has tended to focus on the cultural and symbolic legacy of the tournament, or engaged with diplomatic relations between Britain and North Korea. Contrastingly, we use archival sources from footballing and government institutions to explore the less studied topic of how the tournament was reported and perceived in Latin America, where England had commercial interests and influence, but where there were allegations that FIFA, the FA and even the UK government manipulated the tournament to the advantage of England and other European teams. We provide fresh perspectives on the social and cultural significance of the 1966 FIFA World Cup by analysing how the tournament’s organizers attempted to manage the situation and resulting negative public relations, and how 1966 fits within longer-term footballing and diplomatic relations between England and Latin America.
Friday, 12 June 2020
By Dr Alex G. Gillett & Dr Kevin D. Tennent
Franchise / Club
Operating Income/Loss ($US Million)
Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City
Orlando City SC
New England Revolution
Los Angeles FC
San Jose Earthquakes
New York Red Bulls
New York City FC
Increasing fees for new ‘expansion’ franchise investors do not currently appear to be driven by financial performance; the league and most of its teams continue to operate at a significant loss. Investors are thus speculating on the MLS as something to develop for a longer-term pay-off (Smith, 2019)
(Note: which we chose for illustrative purposes firstly because it was the host team for the inaugural MLS fixture in 1996, and secondly because we happened to be preparing some research on the team).
One way in which to approximate is to examine average match-day attendances of San Jose over the history of the MLS, and compare with the league average. Whilst this does not provide the ‘whole story’ it offers a window into the popularity of soccer in San Jose and the wider SFBA as a live sporting attraction.
- The novelty might attract spectators who are simply curious;
- The new team’s marketing team might work harder or with more enthusiasm for a ‘start-up’ and new challenge in comparison to those of an older team;
- The accuracy with which the MLS has determined the best markets for its expansion.
Gough, C. 2019. “Major league soccer teams ranked by operating income 2019” Statistica, November 21. Accessed 15 May 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/477866/team-operating-income-of-mls-soccer-teams/
Smith, C. 2019. “Major league soccer’s most valuable teams 2019: Atlanta stays on top as expansion fees, sale prices surge”, Forbes Online, November 4. Accessed 15 May 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2019/11/04/major-league-soccers-most-valuable-teams-2019-atlanta-stays-on-top-as-expansion-fees-sale-prices-surge/
Tennent, K.D. and Gillett, A.G., 2018. Opportunities for all the Team: Entrepreneurship and the 1966 and 1994 Soccer World Cups. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 35(7-8), pp.767-788.