EU competition law, football and national markets

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    Research question: The paper investigates the way in which the large football clubs are increasing their dominance, and whether this is compatible with EU competition law.

    Research methods: Various insights from the economic and legal literature have been combined to give a new interpretation of EU competition law.

    Results and findings: The number of clubs with a realistic chance of winning important prizes has declined in many national markets. As a result, the economic competition has diminished and prices have increased to the detriment of welfare. This development has been reinforced by the joint actions of the top European clubs, such as threatening to start a Super League. Consequently, UEFA has implemented policies that have been particularly helpful for the top clubs. But, the clubs’ actions are incompatible with EU competition law, as is the actual creation of a European Super League.

    Implications: If the EU were to enforce the law, the power of the big clubs would be reduced, and UEFA's policies could be based more on the old democratic principles, again. This would lead to more sporting successes for small clubs and to lower prices for the fans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
    Early online date30 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


    • EU competition law
    • European Super League
    • market power
    • Soccer
    • UT-Hybrid-D


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