European football market finances appear to be in very good health and impervious to the current Euro-wide financial crises. Yet beneath the apparent financial buoyancy a different story emerges, one of fan exploitation, spiraling debt and the threat of bankruptcy hanging over many clubs. In this introduction to the special issue we chart what is effectively a political economy of debt underpinning the European football market and threatening to bring professional football in Europe into disrepute. Against this backdrop the paper considers the impact financial exuberance and systemic debt has had on fans’ identification with clubs.
- European football market
- sports management