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    The corporate governance of professional football clubs in England

    Michie, J. and Oughton, Christine (2005) The corporate governance of professional football clubs in England. Corporate Governance: An International Review 13 (4), pp. 517-531. ISSN 0964-8410.

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    We analyse the corporate governance of professional football clubs operating in England's Premier and Football Leagues. Good corporate governance is essential if clubs are to be managed effectively and to survive in the difficult economic circumstances surrounding the football industry. The past couple of years have been especially testing, as Football League clubs have had to deal with the aftermath of the collapse of the ITV digital contract. Our analysis reveals that while there are some noticeable improvements in governance standards, many clubs would benefit from following best practice guidelines on information disclosure, the appointment of directors, board composition, induction and training of directors, risk management and consultation with stakeholders. Despite improvement in some areas over the past three years, standards of corporate governance in football clubs are significantly below those of listed companies as a whole and there is thus considerable need for improvement. Corporate governance in the UK is regulated by Company Law and by codes of corporate governance such as The Combined Code (CC) and The OECD Principles. Whereas compliance with company law is obligatory, compliance with best practice codes of corporate governance, such as the CC, is voluntary in the sense that companies listed on the London Stock Exchange must either comply with the code or else explain any instance of non-compliance in their Annual Report. The rationale for this self-regulatory process is that good corporate governance brings benefits to companies in terms of engendering the trust of investors and improving corporate performance. Firms will therefore find it in their own best interests to comply with the code unless there is a good reason not to do so which can be explained to shareholders in the company's statement of compliance. Since the CC was first introduced, the degree of compliance, as measured by the proportion of companies adopting best practice, has increased considerably, representing a welcome improvement in governance standards. In this paper we present results from our annual survey of FA Premier and Football League clubs, and our analysis of corporate governance statements published by listed clubs, to provide an assessment of the state of corporate governance of professional football clubs. On the basis of this analysis we make a number of recommendations for how the corporate governance of professional football clubs might be improved in the future.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Corporate governance, Codes of Corporate Governance, football, stakeholders
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2013 09:25
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:06


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