Foreign Club Ownership: Blessing or a Curse for Local Supporters?

Foreign Club Ownership: Blessing or a Curse for Local Supporters?
The purpose of this article is first to examine the main underlying motivations which inform an investor’s desire to purchase a football club. Thereafter, it shall proceed to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks that local fans often tend to associate with takeovers by foreign entities. Finally, this article shall focus specifically on how the needs of both foreign owners and local fans can be reconciled going forward.
 

Introduction

 

The international football market has, in recent years, demonstrated somewhat of a trend towards what many are calling a “foreign capital revolution”. The primary driving force behind this revolution being football’s recognized status as one of the most popular sports in the world, as well as its resultant potential to generate large amounts of revenue for investors. Furthermore, the growing influences of globalization, consumerism, and mass media have also played a role in expanding the appeal of owning a football club beyond traditionally domestic markets.

However, despite having the potential to enhance a club’s international profile, not all takeovers initiated by foreign entities are received by local fans with open arms. In recent years, problems such as: buying a club purely to generate a return on investment;...

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