The Impact of Corporate Governance on Financial Performance in Professional Sports Clubs: The Case of Italian Serie A

  •  Alberto Manzari    
  •  Riccardo Savio    
  •  Marika Marandola    


This paper explores professional football clubs' corporate governance challenges, recognizing them as symptoms of a deeper management crisis. The need for more effective managerial practices within these organizations is evident in the prevailing issues. This study aims to assess how corporate governance quality impacts the profitability and sustainability of Italian Serie A football clubs. Through the analysis of governance variables and financial indicators from the 2018/2019 season, the research identifies crucial factors. These factors encompass the business model, board composition, board age, control bodies, and internal procedure transparency. The results highlight the significant influence of corporate governance variables on club performance and insolvency risk. Enhanced governance quality is associated with higher profitability and viability, even among clubs facing financial difficulties. These findings hold significance for academics, practitioners, and regulators interested in understanding corporate governance practices within the competitive soccer market and their impact on financial performance. Future research should expand the sample and incorporate a comparative analysis of major European football leagues, accounting for varying legal frameworks. Moreover, the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the football industry must be considered in forthcoming investigations. The pandemic's financial consequences will likely differ based on each club's business model, international reputation, financial structure, and governance approach.

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