During my time with a Houston soccer study group, we studied the different types of world football club ownership. And today I will delve into it after seeing the football fraternity show interest in it.
The football Clubs were categorized in the following groups.
A public business
The first one is used by clubs which are listed on the stock exchange. Their stocks are held by a few individuals, who control the company, making the most important decisions.
Obviously, clarity and transparency are required in the preparation of the financial statements because the company is public. An example of this, in Italy, can be Juventus FC, which is a listed company based in Turin.
In this case, the majority of the shares (63.8%) are held by the Agnelli family through their own company EXOR S.P.A.
But the first European club that used this type of management model was Tottenham Hotspur based in London, in 1983.
On one hand, this model gives the possibility to find new capitals more easily, but on the other hand, there could be the risk that sporting results could take second place compared to financial ones, also giving rise to conflicts between supporters and shareholders.
It’s my party
In the model “It’s my party”, the club is held by a unique owner, who manages the company as a personal property. Moreover, he introduces huge financial resources into it.
An example is the Chelsea FC owned by Roman Abramovich. The positive side of this model is the huge financial resources introduced by the owner, who is ready to grab the best players and settle budget losses.
But he could act individually, exposing the club to greater external risks. Moreover, this type of management model can be a risk for business continuity, because the owner could decide to abandon the club at any moment.
A popular club
The model “A popular club” is based on low-denomination shares, so the company is held by many members, which elect the president and the executive committee that manages the club.
Two examples of this model include FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are two Spanish clubs, which can count on thousands of members.
In this model, love for the club and sporting success are more important than financial results. The negative aspect refers to the continuous changes that take place during the presidential elections and that can upset the company staff and its strategy.
A Family affair
Finally, the fourth model “A family affair” is used by small clubs, which are associated with family businesses. The positive aspect is the presidents’ passion, who try to defend their interests.
But there is also a negative aspect, which is the rigidity to change, in a market, like the current one that requires continuous strategic changes.
This model was used until the 90s because now it is in trouble. Examples are Ascoli Picchio FC in 1995, which was demoted to Serie C and risked bankruptcy and FC Sochaux-Montbeliard.
The Peugeot family has owned the French team since 1928. Established by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a director at the eponymous carmaker, the football team was originally composed entirely of workers from the local Peugeot factory.
The team’s emblem includes Peugeot’s iconic lion symbol.
The author is a CAF B licensed coach he also holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce in Accounting and Finance degree and a Master of Arts in Public Administration.