Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football
Show Less

Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football

Edited by John Goddard and Peter Sloane

In this comprehensive Handbook, John Goddard and Peter Sloane present a collection of analytical contributions by internationally regarded scholars in the field, which extensively examine the many economic challenges facing the world's most popular team sport.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 4: Spectator demand and attendances in English league football

Babatunde Buraimo


The literature on the economics of professional team sports has developed considerably over the past decades. Its development and coverage has extended beyond the concept of uncertainty of outcome which were first presented as part of a seminal contribution by Neale (1964). Although the literature has developed to cover wider sporting interests, uncertainty of outcome is still very much relevant today, as it was then when it was first reported. At the core of uncertainty of outcome is that sporting contests should be organised so that teams or individuals are evenly matched and this in turn will increase consumer interest (stadium attendance) and along with it, revenues (and profits depending on other factors). Neale (1964) termed this the ‘Louis Schmelling Paradox’, noting that the earnings of world champion Joe Louis would be higher if his next-best contender was evenly matched rather than relatively weak. Most sports contests, whether professional team sports organised as leagues or individual sports which are normally organised as knockout tournaments, embrace the concept of uncertainty of outcome. In professional sports leagues, organisers make efforts to ensure that the contests between teams are even, though institutional arrangements may mean that optimum levels may not be achieved.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.