The global appeal of football is what makes it one of the most watch and participated sports in the world, with people from every continent coming together in their combined love for the beautiful game as a form of entertainment and spectacle. Its sporting aspects, including the level of drama, tension and unpredictability that comes hand in hand, has enabled football to sell itself as a global brand, with increasing number of commercial enterprises looking to invest in the sport for their own financial and promotional gain. It has created an incredible volume of money entering the game, and while some may argue that football continues to lose its traditional values and sporting elements due to the power of business, clubs have now become focused on success on and off-the-pitch. The recent 5.14 billion television deal agreed between the English Premier League and Sky Sports perfectly illustrates the enormous sums of money entering the game to accompany huge sponsorship deals and billions of pounds wagered through gambling on Betway and other sports betting websites, but it has created a knock-on effect that may be to the detriment of the sport.
Football clubs now operate as a commercial franchise rather than a sporting entity, with the demand for success based on the revenue generated through league, cup and European performances. Managers find themselves under immense pressure to deliver the goods or find themselves out of a job, with the loyalty that was once afforded to them in order to implement their own ideas and philosophies descending into a cut-throat business. It can take a run of five games without a win for a manager to suddenly find himself under pressure, irrespective of previous achievements or the financial situation at the club; chairmen now demand results on the pitch as it often generates financial income from various areas, such as sponsorship and merchandise, if the club is doing well. Though merch can be bought online as well, such as canterbury bulldogs merchandise, which could work for people who could spend heavily on the original product. However, football club products are also high in demand among sports fanatics, which is why it might have become a business.
Football’s transition into a business has created a pressing need for chairmen to become sensible with all commercial avenues connected with the club and its financial safety. The success of any football club ultimately depends on how it is run, with the introduction of Financial Fair Play making it even more imperative for chairmen to ensure their expenditure does not outweigh the total income generated through gate receipts, advertising, TV revenues and other avenues. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have already fallen foul of FFP and sanctioned accordingly, which goes to show that even oil-rich clubs with billionaire owners do not always consider the repercussions of spending more than they actually own.
A successful business model can be built upon solid foundations that are not only supported by healthy revenue, but also a methodical plan that has the potential to work on and off-the-pitch. Chairmen can choose to be expansive and allow their manager to bring in marquee players in the knowledge that merchandise and sponsorship revenue covers the cost of wages, agent fees and transfer valuations, or invest heavily in bringing through local talent via youth systems that incorporate the very best facilities and coaching methods. With so many investments in the form of advertisements and TV rights associated with football matches, journalists are more inclined to cover such matches, which usually contributes to the popularity of football. Even small stadiums tend to have a special press box for media personnel to cover the event. As an alternative to expensive press boxes, some stadiums tend to use shipping containers to build press boxes (hop over to this website for more information).
In light of the fact that local matches tend to receive support from the football authorities, it could play a part in nurturing a player who puts the sporting aspects of their nation first and implements a philosophy change that will influence the entire dynamics of the sport in their country. England has finally made inroads through the construction of St. George’s Stadium which has been developed for future stars to harness their skills and progress, but as there continues to be a dearth of English talent featuring regularly in the Premier League, there are flaws in the FA’s plans to improve the national team. It is for this reason that England’s odds in the Euros with Betway are as long as 10/1 behind countries that have changed their entire business structure to incorporate success on the domestic, European and international stage.
Germany is undoubtedly the pinnacle of a hugely successful sporting model, with the huge disappointment of Euro 2000 (they failed to win a single game as the crashed out at the group stages) resulting in the DFB supporting huge investments in youth facilities across the country in order to bring through future generations that could dominate the international stage. Bundesliga clubs now invest 85 million into their academies on an annual basis which has not only resulted in young talent flourishing in a league where players under the age of 21 are given first team opportunities, but also resulted in Germany winning the 2014 World Cup with six players who won the Under 21 European Championship five years previous. Spain and Belgium are other nations who have realised the errors of their way and put greater emphasises on financial backing for youth academies that could produce technically gifted players; it has given them both a great chance of enjoying success at Euro 2016, while England, despite continuing to receive huge sums of money through television and sponsorship revenue, appear stuck in their ways and continue to persevere with a business model that failed to generate any success since 1966.