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Football has no business competing in the financial world

Scottish football clubs must lose the tag of being a ‘business’ before their true value is recognised according to football finance expert Stephen Morrow, who will be speaking in Inverness and Stornoway next month.

The University of Stirling academic believes that the traditional ownership model and its emphasis on business performance have failed Scottish football clubs.

Morrow, pictured, will present his argument on Thursday 2 June in the Auditorium of the Centre for Health Science, Inverness, from 5.30pm in a free lecture open to the public entitled The business of Scottish football – time for a new model?

He said: “Scottish football continues to face problems on and off the field of play and far from being big business, Scottish football clubs are not really businesses at all in terms of normal business indicators like profitability.

“This model has failed in business terms, but more than that it has made it more difficult for clubs to deliver a social return by properly engaging with their supporters and the local community.”

The protracted takeover at Rangers FC and the administration of Dundee FC have brought the ‘business’ aspect to the fore this season, but Morrow argues that the adoption of alternative club structures, as has happened at Stirling Albion FC and is being proposed at St Mirren FC, may in time provide a more sustainable future for many Scottish clubs.

“In the current climate of clubs surviving on a month-by-month basis, something has to change and it is worth exploring new models of ownership, governance and business practice which can better harness the social and community value of a club. No football fan wants to see their club disappear, but that’s what will happen if the status quo remains.”

Morrow’s presentation, which will be followed by an open discussion and questions, is part of The Stirling Lectures 2010-2011, this year focusing on sport, media and health.

The University of Stirling is one of the biggest higher education providers in the Highlands and Islands, offering higher education at campus sites in Inverness and Stornoway, as well as Stirling.

Professor Grant Jarvie, Deputy Principal, said: “The University of Stirling has an enviable record of support, commitment and provision of higher education in the Highlands and Islands. Our world-class scholars and researchers are located in, and focused upon, key areas of social, economic and cultural life in the Highlands and Islands. The Stirling Lectures provide an opportunity to meet our staff and find out more about studying on one of our three campuses.”

The business of Scottish football – time for a new model? Stephen Morrow
Wednesday 1 June 2011 at 6.30pm, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway
Thursday 2 June 2011 at 5.30pm, Centre for Health Science, Raigmore hospital, Inverness

To book a place, please telephone Liz Beattie on 01463 255 649 or email hct1@stir.ac.uk

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