This text uses statistical and documentary evidence to illustrate how football works as a business, and the techniques of business strategy to explain why some clubs are winners and others are not. After a historical description of football's finances, the book moves to a contemporary analysis of the state of the game financially. Embedded in the text are various analyses of the modern English game including a league table of major teams that compares success on the field with that off the field since the war.
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As the authors of Winners & Losers rightly point out: "football is a game, but it is also a business". Such a big business, in fact, that it is estimated to be worth around £150bn worldwide. Last year Rupert Murdoch felt that Britain's leading club (Manchester United) was worth more than £600m of BSkyB's money. At that time, the 20 UK clubs quoted on the stock market had a combined value of over £1bn, with the largest (United again) constituting one of the largest 350 quoted companies. Such a large business has long deserved rigorous examination in its own right and while Szymanski and Kuypers are not the first authors to have written about the business side of football, their analysis provides the first comprehensive application of aspects of business theories to the football industry. The key distinction is made by the authors between football and many other forms of business; while clubs compete not only on the field, but also off it to generate revenue, they must also co-operate with each other in the form of a league or some other organised competition in order to create the end-product of football matches. Building on such a framework and drawing on an extensive set of data, the authors are able to use business strategy to analyse the relationship between clubs' policies on expenditure (in transfers and wages) and their success on the pitch. While the approach is somewhat academic, the style is readable and the content is sure appeal to fans and business strategists alike. Excellent throughout, Szymanski and Kuypers' book represents the best yet on this subject. -- Trevor CroweFrom the Author:
What this book is about
That there is a connection between finance and football is apparent to all. This book sets out to explain how the relationship works. Based on a unique data base of club performance and accounting records (included as an appendix) we explain how the market for players has developed and how income depends on league performance. The book is full of interesting stories showing how money and football have been inextricably linked from its earliest days. We show that there is predictable relationship between club wage expenditure, league performance and total revenues. We then examine the exceptions that prove the rule, to see what it takes to beat the competition. Our book should interest two types of reader, those who are interested in football and want to understand better how the financial side of football relates to performance on the pitch, and to those who are simply interested understanding what makes a successful business.
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