Supporter Influence on Club Governance in a Sports League: A 'Utility Maximization' Model

30 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2010

See all articles by Paul Madden

Paul Madden

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences

Terry Robinson

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Date Written: May 20, 2010

Abstract

Motivated by increasing supporter involvement in club governance in English football, the paper presents a simple model of a sports league in which club objectives are utility functions defined over profits, win percentages and fan (=supporter) welfare, formalising a seminal suggestion of Sloane (1971). Consequences of increased utility weight on fan welfare (capturing increased supporter involvement in governance) are unambiguously higher attendances, with more nuanced affects on ticket prices and player expenditure. The attendance affect is consistent with some limited, anecdotal data currently available from clubs with existing supporter boardroom representation. Normatively, positive profits for club owners indicate social sub-optimality.

Suggested Citation

Madden, Paul and Robinson, Terry, Supporter Influence on Club Governance in a Sports League: A 'Utility Maximization' Model (May 20, 2010). Manchester Business School Research Paper No. 598, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1625668 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1625668

Paul Madden

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Terry Robinson (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

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