Regulatory Compliance Management in the Professional Sport Industry: Evidence from the Italian Serie A

  •  Eugenio D’Angelo    


The football industry has grown consistently in the last three decades and now is capable to generate revenues for approximately 18.5 billions euros per year. Despite this growth, football teams failed to translate this opportunity into profits and financial sustainability, thus incurring in substantial losses. For this reason the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has issued a regulation to induce a change this behavior, reducing debt, decreasing employees costs and reaching the break event point. However, if we use the regulatory compliance management theory to analyse and predict the extent to which sports teams will comply with UEFA's financial regulations, we find that there are several reasons to believe that such compliance will not be achieved. Gathering data from Aida - Bureau van Dijk – we have investigated Italian teams compliance, comparing the economic results achieved before and after the introduction of the Financial Fair Play regulation in a nine-year period of observation. Result show that there are no significant differences in firms’ performance, thus our hypothesis has been confirmed. Furthermore, we have investigated if any remarkable change has been produced in terms of competition in the Italian major football league. Consistently with our hypothesis, results confirm that an unwilling process of concentration, in terms of on the field results, is taking place.

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