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    Football’s emerging market trade network: ego network approach to world systems theory

    Bond, AJ, Widdop, P ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0334-7053 and Chadwick, S (2018) Football’s emerging market trade network: ego network approach to world systems theory. Managing Sport and Leisure, 23 (1-2). pp. 70-91. ISSN 2375-0472

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    © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The football transfer market is a billion-pound industry, traditionally dominated by the European market. This has been challenged by the rise of relatively new markets emerging from China, Brazil, Turkey and Russia. Important countries within the market, they also challenge the traditional status order. While classical international trade theorists suggest that capital or resource advantage predicts trade, economic sociologists argue that a world-systems perspective economic relationships are a core component. Therefore, we analyse the football trade network of these emerging markets to understand the structure, specifically in relation to the world-systems perspective. Using social network analysis, we identify the network is structured analogously to a world-systems perspective with a core of European countries, a semi-periphery of developing countries and a periphery containing countries where football is less developed. Furthermore, Turkey and Brazil occupy structural holes acting as brokers between the core, semi-periphery and periphery positions which can be advantageous.

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