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Sport Labour Markets


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Giambattista Rossi
  • Assessment: a two-hour examination (75%) and a 5000-word coursework group report (25%)

Module description

This module analyses sport labour markets, focusing in particular on the factors and peculiarities that differentiate the sport sector from others. It will provide insights to several issues within sport labour markets, taking into consideration economic, financial, political, legal and cultural aspects. Special reference is given to professional football in relation to other professional sports in order to provide a comprehensive and comparative understanding of labour markets in sports.

Firstly, you will be introduced to the principles and mechanisms of labour markets in sports. Then, you will develop your understanding of how the main economic aspects of sport labour markets are strictly intertwined with financial factors and legal constraints, at a national and international level. This will highlight how labour markets are at the centre of any reform to improve the economic sustainability of the sport industry and to protect workers' and employers' rights. Finally, you will be offered opportunities to debate central topics of sport labour markets and to discuss different perspectives considering the relevance of historical, social and cultural factors within sport labour markets.

The core lecture/seminar discussions will be supplemented by presentations from students and from a range of guest speakers from the sport industry who work on different aspects of sports labour markets.

Indicative module content

  • The historical evolution of sport labour markets
  • The transfer market in sport
  • CBA, player remuneration and contract duration
  • Labour market restrictions in sport
  • Sport agents and intermediaries
  • Third-party ownership
  • Labour market stakeholders in sport

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of sport labour market’s structure and mechanisms
  • explain the historical development of sport labour markets from a mere amateurism to professionalisms
  • explain key theoretical economic issues in relation to policy, law and finance, eg athletes’ remuneration and economic value, racial discrimination, freedom of movements, impairment tests etc
  • reflect on how the application of the key theoretical principles in sport economics informs the design of sport labour markets.