Handbook of Research on Sport and Business
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Handbook of Research on Sport and Business

Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles

This Handbook draws together top international researchers and discusses the state of the art and the future direction of research at the nexus between sport and business. It is heavily built upon choosing, applying and evaluating appropriate quantitative as well as qualitative research methods for practical advice in sport and business research.
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Chapter 20: The network of value captures in football club management: a framework to develop and analyse competitive advantage in professional team sports

Harald Dolles and Sten Söderman


The reasons why football clubs win or lose, make profits or losses, are perhaps the central questions in football management research. The causes of a club’s success or failure are inextricably tied to questions about why clubs differ, how they act on and off the pitch, how they choose strategies for performance on the pitch and within the club on different levels, and how they are managed. While much of research on football has a more national focus, it also has become increasingly apparent that any quest for the causes of a club’s success must also confront the reality of international competition, the difference in governance structures of the game and the striking differences in the performance of clubs in different nations (Gammelsæter and Senaux, 2011; Hamil and Chadwick, 2010; Söderman et al., 2010). Yet, the question of why clubs win or lose raises a still broader question. Any effort to understand ‘success’ in a broader sense of a football club must rest on an underlying economic and managerial theory of the industry, where the clubs are the actors. In recent years, the world of football has been referred to more and more as an industry in its own right. Its characteristics have been getting closer to those of services or the entertainment business, as people worldwide may choose whether to go to the cinema, an amusement park or to the stadium to watch a match. The ranking of football as a business activity has risen in the economies of those countries where football is promoted as a national sport.

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