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Our Team

The Birkbeck Sport Business Centre was established in 1999 (originally as the Birkbeck Football Governance Research Centre). It followed the convening of a conference by academics in the former Department of Management at Birkbeck to examine the implications of the bid by the BSkyB broadcasting company for Manchester United Football Club, in the context of a government regulator review of the Premier League’s collective selling of broadcasting arrangements.

Birkbeck was one of the first British universities to initiate research into the business of sport. In its early years, research produced by the Centre had a strong focus on investigating standards of governance in English and Scottish football, and on ownership structures of football clubs, in particular supporter-owned clubs.

In 2010, with the 2012 London Olympics on the horizon, we deliberately expanded the scope of research at Birkbeck beyond football to encompass the wider context of Olympic and other sports. BSBC academics now conduct research across a range of sports, while retaining a core focus on football. The key to the BSBC’s mission is to promote public understanding of the complex governance and management of the wider (and typically misunderstood) sport system and to inform public debate as to how the system might be more effectively managed.

To facilitate this, the Centre organises and supports public lectures and conferences, Centre members conduct cutting-edge academic research and consultancy and we nurture a wider network of individuals and organisations concerned with effective sport management. We have always had an international outlook and work in partnership with a number of different individuals and partner institutions.