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Determinants of competitive balance across countries: Insights from European men’s football first tiers, 2006-2018

Scelles, Nicolas and Francois, Aurelien and Dermit-Richard, Nadine (2020) Determinants of competitive balance across countries: Insights from European men’s football first tiers, 2006-2018. Managing Sport and Leisure. ISSN 2375-0472

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Abstract

Rationale/Purpose: The aim is to investigate the determinants of competitive balance (CB) across countries in European men’s club football. Determinants already tested previously in the literature include revenue sharing (proxied by countries’ income inequality), differences in drawing power, prize money, talent market and sports contest format. New determinants include climate, countries’ economic power, tradition, timing, number of clubs, financial regulation and international performance. Methodology: Regressions explaining CB are tested in the European men's football first tiers over the 2006–18 period. Findings: Results show that economic power and income inequality have a significant positive impact on CB; while climate (temperature), differences in drawing power, international performance and financial regulation have a significant negative impact. Practical implications: Results question whether international performance is a legitimate objective given its negative impact on CB. Research contribution: . Results enable to add new determinants explaining CB, namely countries’ economic power, financial regulation and international performance.

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