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Impacts generated by Birkbeck's Sports Business Centre

Venue: Online

This event is part of the Research Centres Impact Day hosted by the School of BEI.

Birkbeck’s Sports Business Centre - Impacts generated by Birkbeck’s Sports Business Centre

Director: Sean Hamil, Birkbeck, University of London

Prof Geoff Walters, Executive Dean School of Business, Economics and Informatics and Sean Hamil, Lecturer Department of Management will present two impact cases of the centre’s research.  

“Don’t Fix It! Fighting match-fixing in European football - Impact Case-Study”

Sean Hamil, Dr Andrew Harvey and Haim Levi were recruited by FIFPro, the global football players union, to conduct research into football match fixing as part of the Don’t Fix It! project. Their work formed the basis for a code of conduct adopted by every key stakeholder organisation in European football, and a training programme that saw national associations develop and deliver anti-match-fixing initiatives in all eight of the countries concerned. Don’t Fix It! also underpinned the development of the Red Button App for anonymously reporting match-fixing; first developed with the Finnish players’ union but now adopted worldwide and expanded into sports beyond football, protecting both players and the sports they play.

“Reforming governance in the UK non-profit sport sector - Impact Case-Study”

Governance in sport has become increasingly important over the last ten years, with a number of high-profile sport organisations facing media and governmental scrutiny after allegations of doping, bullying, abuse, and mismanagement. Since 2011, a programme of research led by Dr Richard Tacon and Dr Geoff Walters at Birkbeck, University of London, has worked to understand and improve board-level governance in sport organisations throughout the UK and to improve diversity and inclusion on boards. Through sector-wide reports, in-depth case studies, workshops and training, they have facilitated major policy changes, raised the level of public debate, improved organisational practice and contributed to greater diversity and inclusion across many different sports. 


Professor Geoff Walters's research background is in organisational governance with a focus on the non-profit sport sector in the UK. The sector, like much of the public sector, has been subject to ongoing changes that are part of a broader professionalisation and modernisation agenda. Geoff looks at how these changes impact on the boards of sport organisations. Since 2019 he has been the Executive Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Informatics. In both his roles as Head of Department, and Executive Dean, he has sought to introduce more collaborative forms of working, ensuring strong communication between colleagues, and to enhance the research culture across the School.

Sean Hamil graduated with a BA in Economics and Politics from Trinity College, Dublin, then proceeded to the London School of Economics where he took an MSc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Sean worked as a business analyst with the Henley Centre for Forecasting and then as a researcher for New Consumer, an educational charity focusing on corporate social and environmental responsibility. Prior to joining Birkbeck, he was a Lecturer in Business Management, specialising in business strategy, at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


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