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The Business Evolution of Football Clubs: A Research Workshop at Birkbeck Sport Business Centre

The workshop explored the origins and evolution of professional football clubs from a business, management, and organizational history perspective.

A man stands in front of an electronic whiteboard giving a presentation and looking thoughtful
Professor Geoff Walters, Executive Dean, School of Business, Economics & Informatics Centre

The Birkbeck Sport Business Centre welcomed academics from across the UK for a two-day British Academy of Management workshop. 

The workshop was co-organised by Geoff Walters and Sean Hamil from the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre alongside Kevin Tennant and Alex Gillett from the School for Business and Society at the University of York, with the support of the British Academy of Management special interest group for business history. The aim was to contribute to a developing stream of research that broadens the realm of business and management history by looking at theoretical and empirical themes related to the professional football industry.

Over the course of the two days, there were a diverse range of presentations, all at different stages of development, on a range of diverse topics organised into four key themes. Themes included supporter ownership; social responsibility; the changing structure and ownership in Brazilian football; and regulatory developments in football. The workshop was pleased to welcome Richard McDermott, the company secretary of the Football Association, who gave a historical account of the governance structure of the FA – a particular topical issue given the work that is taking place to introduce an independent regulator to support financial sustainability in the football industry.

This workshop was the latest in a series of events organised by the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre and supported by the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group for Business History that provided the funding for this event.

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