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French Football: A Financial Crisis Rooted in Weak Governance

Abstract : This article contends that a French football exception is not an absent financial crisis but its hidden shape because of undisciplined club behavior and a lack of transparency and disclosure. French football is characterized by a lax financial management and a soft-budget constraint at the club level. The latter results from a weak governance structure in the league and clubs. Shareholders behave as non-profit-seeking investors or patrons. The arms race to enroll the most efficient players fuels wage inflation that is hardly balanced by newly emerging sources of finance. The more a club is able to attract broadcast revenues, the more likely it is to be in the red. Policy recommendations include strengthening the governance structure, restoring financial discipline, and defining compulsory thresholds for some clubs' financial ratios.
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Contributor : Wladimir Andreff <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 2:51:33 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:27 AM

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Wladimir Andreff. French Football: A Financial Crisis Rooted in Weak Governance. Journal of Sports Economics, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2007, 8 (6), pp.652-661. ⟨10.1177/1527002506297021⟩. ⟨halshs-00270019⟩



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