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    Football players and asset manipulation: the management of football transfers in Italian Serie A

    Neri, Lorenzo and Rossi, Giambattista (2023) Football players and asset manipulation: the management of football transfers in Italian Serie A. European Sport Management Quarterly 23 (4), pp. 942-962. ISSN 1618-4742.

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    Research question: We consider player trading as one of the distinctive features of football clubs’ business models and how these models have been influenced since the implementation of Financial Fair Play (FFP). Considering the Italian financial and economic context in the football sector, we investigate whether Serie A football clubs adopt earnings manipulation as a result of trading players’ economic rights. Research methods: The empirical analysis includes the football clubs competing in the Italian Serie A from 2005 to 2018. Using an unbalanced panel dataset composed of 275 club-year observations (38 different clubs), our estimations are run by using fixed effects OLS models. Clubs’ net capital income from sales of football players is used as a proxy of earning manipulation. We control for clubs’ football performance, size and reputation. Results: and Findings: By applying Bartov’s model based on asset sales, our results confirm the adoption of asset manipulation behaviours in the football industry, wherein players’ economic rights sales are a preponderant financial item affecting economic performance. Specifically, net income from trading players is significant and positively linked with Serie A clubs’ profitability, while leverage is significant after the introduction of FFP and especially for the most prominent Serie A clubs. Implications: Our results confirm that Italian Serie A has been chronically dependent on player trading to maintain their financial sustainability. UEFA’s regulations could be assessed and modified to enable them to prevent and reveal the real activities and dynamics behind the player transfer market (profit smoothing behaviours).


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Sport Business Centre
    Depositing User: Giambattista Rossi
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2021 14:05
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:10


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