Risk evaluation in professional football
Risk management is composed of three major elements viz., hazard identification, risk estimation and risk evaluation. The aim of hazard identification and risk estimation is to identify the outcomes from risk, the magnitude of the associated con&quences from risk, and the estimation of the probabilities of these outcomes. Previous work focused on hazard identification and risk estimation and identified the relatively high risks associated with playing professional football. By adhering to the risk management process, the aim of this thesis was to determine the significance of these high risks to football clubs and their players. A theoretical framework was designed to evaluate the influence of player injury on the financial and playing performance of professional football clubs. This framework was also used to assess, through use of cost benefit analysis, the practicalities of investing in suitable injury prevention strategies, to reduce the risks to football clubs and their players. Former professional footballers were surveyed to investigate the long-term medical and socioeconomic consequences associated with the high risks of playing professional football. The results identified the high financial costs associated with player injury on professional football clubs. Although the high risks of player injury have a relatively minor effect on teamperformance of the Premier League clubs, this effect still has a relatively major influence on the financial performance of the club. In contrast, the influence of player injury to teamperformance was relatively major for Division I and Division 2 clubs, but this had a relatively minor effect on financial performance. The application of cost benefit analysis to the investment of specialist personnel to reduce the risks of injury demonstrated that the proposals were practicable for Premier League and Division I clubs only. In addition, it was also demonstrated that the high risks associated with playing professional football have a significant influence on the long-term well-being of foriner players. One-third of former players had been medically diagnosed osteoarthritic in a lower limb joint. The majority of players also perceived that injury had a negative influence on their present and future welfare. The results demonstrate that the consequences associated with the relatively high acute injury risk also have a significant effect on the financial and playing performance of football clubs and the future welfare of their players.