The driving forces of competitive balance in European football: A review of Europe’s top leagues

N. David Pifer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This examination serves as a review of the competitive balance literature in European football, placing a specific emphasis on the factors that contribute to its presence or absence in the Big Five (the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1). Seeing as these five leagues account for nearly 55% of the $28 billion in revenues that flow through the European football scene (Deloitte, 2016), the discussion of competitiveness within these settings was determined to be important in light of the numerous financial and managerial decisions that must be made. Perhaps even more relevant is the open league structure of these competitions, where revenues are not distributed evenly and the worst performing clubs are at risk of being relegated to lower, less-profitable divisions. Therefore, in an effort to understand the potential pitfalls and rewards that exist in this setting, this study chose to review the pertinent literature in hopes of outlining the state of the industry for managers that find themselves competing on football’s biggest stages. In the process, the review also allowed for the discovery of gaps in the literature and the charting of new directions for future research endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global Football Industry
Subtitle of host publicationMarketing Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781351117975
ISBN (Print)9780815360568
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


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