Sport Society IVA

According to the General Household Survey 1996, football is the sixth most popular participant sport in the UK, with five per cent of adults claiming to have played at least once in the four weeks prior to the interview. In terms of team sports football is easily the most popular sporting activity, with its nearest rival, cricket, some way behind. The major interest in football, however, emanates from those who watch the game, rather than those who play it.

The economic significance of football has recently become an important subject of discussion for those academics and policy-makers who wish to measure the game’s influence on spending patterns and employment opportunities. For example, Euro `96 made a significant economic contribution to each of the host cities and staged matches. In total over 280,000 visiting spectators and media came to the UK to attend Euro `96 matches, spending approximately i?? 120 million in the eight host cities and surrounding regions.

These visitors generated over 900,000 beds-nights in hotels, guest houses and camp sites, and created over 4,000 full-time-equivalent job years. The average spectator attended 1. 24 matches, staying in each respective host city for an average of 1. 05 nights and had an average of daily expenditure of food and drink, 21 per cent on accommodation, 14 per cent on travel within the host cities and 12 per cent on souvenirs and shopping. One of the problems in measuring the true economic value of sport is that much economic activity takes place in the voluntary sector.

This is a problem because volunteers usually offer their services free of charge, which makes conventional economic measurements such as the monetary value of labour meaningless. As part of its research into the size and scope of the voluntary sector the sports council solved this problem by applying an average wage rate of i?? 8. 31 per hour to the work of various sport volunteers.

From this research it was demonstrated that football volunteers contribute the equivalent of 228 million to the national economy, making it the second most valuable sport behind bowls. Regional and Local Level In England the FA delegates a significant proportion of its work to the County Football Association, who in turn receive more than i?? 1. 2 million towards implementing key FA initiatives such as coaching and education programmes. In 1996 the FA restructured its coaching awards programme to suit better the needs of coaches, teachers and medical staff at all levels of football.

At local and regional levels the game appears to be stronger than ever, with more than 42,000 clubs affiliated to their regional or district associations. Some of this football is organized along semi-professional lines, but most of it takes place in a voluntary setting. National Level England football is controlled by the Football Association (FA), which was founded in 1863. Similar bodies exist for the game in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Some of the chief responsibilities of the FA are to oversee the development of England’s national teams at all levels, and to organize a range of competitions including the FA Cup. In 1992 the FA formed a subsidiary company with sole responsibility for a Premier League made up of 20 clubs. A further 72 full-time clubs participate in three main divisions run by the Football League. In Scotland 10 clubs play in the Scottish Premier League with a further 30 clubs playing in three divisions of the Scottish Football League.

The National League of Wales contains 20 semi-professional clubs, while another 16 semi-professional sides from Northern Ireland competes in the Irish Football League. The overall development of the game from grassroots to the highest level is currently in the hands of the FA’s Technical Director, who made a document, A charter for Quality. These included the establishments of centres of excellence for coaching and developing youngsters, and a reduction for very young players.

Task 5b: Funding, History and Organization Sectors As the national governing body for football the FA has an important financial responsibility for the game. Its current income stands in the region of i?? 70 million and is derived from four main sources, Television, Sponsorship and other commercials, International matches and competitions. The FA has been able to use its major properties, namely the England team and the FA Cup, to generate television income through its domestic contract with Sky and the BBC.

It has also recently initiated a new four-year sponsorship programme under the title of football associates. This is based around a family of ten sponsors that includes AXA, Nationwide, Cola-Cola and Carlsberg. The massive interest which surrounds the professional game is clearly reflected in the annual turnover of the FA Premier League, which now exceeds i?? 200 million. Most of this income is generated through the television deal agreed by the Premier League, Sky and the BBC.

Since the inception of the premier League in 1992 some clubs have reaped unprecedented financial benefits, largely through the redistribution of television moneys, but also through additional funding for professional centres of excellence and stadium redevelopment. All full-time professional football clubs are now run on a highly commercial basis, although not all clubs can command the same level of financial resources. Commercial has always been part of football, but following the formation of the Premier League in 1992 two different financial tiers have emerged to split the game.

Due to its worldwide appeal, membership of the Premier League brings with it a range of commercial opportunities that simply cannot be realized in the leagues below. These include significant shares in television revenue, interest from high-profile sponsors, increased season tickets and gate receipts, and greater merchandising opportunities. These trends are perfectly illustrated by Manchester United, reputedly the richest football club in the world. The income profile for Manchester United during 1998 and 1999 was i?? 10,882,233. 00

Further evidence that the game is adapting to commercial forces can be seen in the number of clubs that have been floated on the stock market. Usually the main reason for widening share ownership in a football club is to …

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