Beer and the Boro — A Perfect Match!

  • Alex Gillett
  • Kevin Tennent
  • Fred Hutchinson

Abstract

Although football clubs (FCs) as firms are relatively unsustainable from a purely financial perspective, the club brands appear highly sustainable in comparison with many other industries (Kuper and Szymanski, 2012). While the ownership and the companies running the clubs may change, the club brands themselves appear to be more stable than in other industries where firms and brands go out of business, relocate or diversify to a far greater extent (e.g. Hannah, 1997). This may be because they are less vulnerable to competition — FCs have historically been geographic, and while their catchment area may shrink during less successful periods, it will not disappear entirely. Furthermore, rival foreign clubs do not enter and supply soccer at lower prices (although foreign investors may bid to take over the ownership) and although English clubs as a whole could fall behind foreign competitors and lose their best players, foreign clubs have their own problems of finance and management (Kuper and Szymanski, 2012). Put succinctly, society can keep unprofitable clubs going cheaply: bank managers and tax collectors have historically appeared reluctant to close century-old clubs -and so society swallowed the losses. Perhaps clubs were and still are too small to fail. At the same time, the brand loyalty of supporters means that no matter how lousy the product, a hard core of customers will continue to purchase: “Soccer is more than just a business. No one has their ashes scattered down the aisle at Tesco” (Taylor, 1998, cited by Kuper and Szymanski, 2012, p.82).

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Copyright information

© Alex Gillett, Kevin Tennent, and Fred Hutchinson 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Gillett
  • Kevin Tennent
  • Fred Hutchinson

There are no affiliations available

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