Competitive Advantages in Professional Football Clubs - A Resource-Based Analysis

Title: Competitive Advantages in Professional Football Cubs ? A Resource-Based Analysis Authors: Daniel Grass, Mattias Holst, Bengt Jönsson Semester: Spring 2001 Supervisors: Leif Edvinsson, Allan T. Malm Problem: In order to be a successful football club, the management team has to consider a variety of business issues. Since money is having such an impact on the football industry of today, the financial status of the clubs sets the condition for how clubs are able to achieve their main objective, i.e. to be successful on the football field. Clubs, therefore, have to have a full understanding of how competitive advantages are created. Purpose: We intend to explain the nature and sources of gaining competitive advantages in professional football clubs. Methodology: In our study, we have studied the football industry in top divisions, with a highlight on English clubs. With a theoretical framework based on the resource-based view and the Intellectual Capital theory, we have analysed our empirical findings, resulting in a list of resources in football clubs that properly managed could lead to the gaining of competitive advantages. Conclusions: We have in our Football Resource Map listed nine resources all being valuable to the club. Of the nine resources, six compose the Structural Capital and two, the Management and the Players, make up the Human Capital of the club. The important Structural Capital contains resources like the Brand, Relations and Customers/Supporters. All of the resources in the Structural Capital need to be exploited by the Human Capital in order to gain competitive advantages. However not all of them are sources to competitive advantages according to the VRIO-framework. They are revenue-generating resources though, and revenues enable the club to gain competitive advantages on the football field by improving the Player Capital. Hence, a resource like the Supporters provides the club with competitive advantages albeit it isn?t really a source to competitive advantages. The Supporter Capital is the most important resource, mainly because of its exploitability and revenue generating ability. Key phrases: Competitive advantages, resources, VRIO-framework, Intellectual Capital, football


Daniel Grass Mattias Holst Bengt Jönsson

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