Book Chapter

Financial Fair Play: Problematization in Men’s Professional Football



Morrow S (2021) Financial Fair Play: Problematization in Men’s Professional Football. In: Maguire J, Liston K & Falcous M (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Globalization and Sport. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 297-322.

Problematization is adopted as an approach to understand the financial context of European club football which led to the introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations by European football’s governing body, UEFA. Designed to encourage clubs to modify their operating behavior, FFP has also drawn attention to the limitations of conventional accounting for football clubs, focusing attention on longer time horizons, on the inter-dependency of clubs, and on the social and political context within which professional football takes place. Particular accounting calculations, specifically the determination of FFP break-even, have revealed wider social, economic, and political discourses not normally associated with the apparently neutral, technical practices of accounting. Regulation is only effective if it is able to be enforced, however, and recent evidence suggests power remains concentrated among key actors in the field of European football. For FFP to act as an instrument for social change in professional football, a much broader approach to stakeholder involvement, reporting and accountability is necessary.

Financial Fair Play, Problematization, Accounting, Accountability

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online30/11/2021
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Place of publicationBasingstoke