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Title: An examination of the motivations and consequences of foreign direct investment in the Premier League 1992-2012
Author: Jones, Andrew Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 4942
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2014
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The English Premier League is regarded as one of the most prominent sporting competitions in the world. In the last decade the league (and by definition it’s member clubs) have become highly attractive to wealthy foreign investors, having taken ownership of a number of clubs across the league. This thesis seeks to investigate the motivations and consequences behind this foreign direct investment (FDI). The study uses a multi-method approach not commonly found within the sports economics or FDI literature combining both quantitative and qualitative methods. The thesis has generated responses from ‘elite’ level respondents at Premier League clubs together with members of the supporters’ movement. Existing data from club sources and market reports has been collected in order to assess the motivations and consequences of FDI. The thesis finds the motives behind football FDI to be somewhat different to those held by other forms of business organisation. Football is a mostly loss-making industry, but despite this weakness, some investors have purchased Premier League clubs for economic reasons. The importance of non-economic motives, such as profile enhancement, and the notion of the trophy asset were also found to be influential motives behind some football FDI. These aspects are not strongly reflected in the FDI literature, and they imply football is different to other forms of investment. FDI is shown to be mostly beneficial for the clubs receiving the investment, but for non-acquired clubs negative consequences are found in terms of wages, transfer costs, profits, and debt. For the Premier League itself, FDI has been positive in terms of enhancing the league’s stature, revenues, and the quality of matches. Some benefits were found at the regional level. This thesis covers the gap within the literature surrounding FDI and football, and also raises wider points about the generalizability of FDI theory to all industries.
Supervisor: Cook, Mark; Haynes, Mike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Football ; FDI ; Premier League ; Spillovers ; Motives ; Foreign Ownership ; English Football