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Daniel Maderer, Petros Parganas and Christos Anagnostopoulos

, 2017 ; Anagnostopoulos, Parganas, Chadwick, & Fenton, 2018 ; Chang, 2018 ; Hambrick & Kang, 2015 ; Li, Dittmore, Scott, Lo, & Stokowski, 2018 ; Wakefield & Bennett, 2018 ). European football clubs in particular, building on the worldwide reputation of football, have integrated social

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Jeffrey W. Kassing

In June of 2018, Football Club Barcelona (FCB) released a new promotional campaign designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s popular mes que un club (more than a club) motto, which featured a promotional video and Web page. Accompanying the video were introductory remarks that read

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César García

Historically, Barcelona Football Club (BFC) has represented one of the pillars of Catalan identity, which earned it the slogan “more than a club.” In recent times, especially under the presidency of Joan Laporta, management has radicalized the club’s political positions by using BFC as a platform to openly promote the independence from Spain of the Catalan region. Despite the fact that most Barcelona fans in Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain, have much more moderate political positions, the radicalization of BFC does not appear to have eroded the relationship-building process with Barcelona fandom. This article argues that BFC as an institution still maintains a good relationship with its fans because the social, as well as individual, identity provided by allegiance to a soccer club such as BFC is ultimately more important to members and fans than the club’s political positions.

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Jamie A. Cleland

The development of “new” media and the financial investment in football since the early 1990s have dramatically changed the football club–media relationship. A number of clubs changed ownership and organizational structure for financial gain or financial survival while the increasing demand for immediate information led to clubs’ recognizing the importance of external communication. Drawing on 47 semistructured interviews with media personnel and 827 questionnaires completed by supporters at 4 football clubs, this article assesses the organizational structure of clubs in dealing with the media and supporters and the level of dependence between clubs and the external media. The results highlight changes in the organizational structure of clubs and their strategies for external communication, as well as the contrasting relationships between football clubs and the external media. As ownership and personnel changes occur, clubs should remember the importance of the 2-way relationships they are in with supporters and the media.

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Lionel Frost, Margaret Lightbody and Abdel K. Halabi

Australian Football clubs have traditionally been seen as contributing social benefits to the rural communities in which they are embedded. Declining numbers of participants, both players and volunteers, suggest that this role may not be as strong today. Critical explorations of the extent to which football has driven social inclusion and exclusion in such environments emphasizes a historic masculine culture of drinking and violence that segregates and marginalizes women and children. Less is known about the contemporary strategic efforts of clubs to use social capital to support their activities, and whether the resources they generate have positive impacts on social inclusion in the wider community. We use evidence from the Parliament of Victoria’s Inquiry into Country Football (2004) to explore the current focus of rural Australian Football clubs regarding social inclusion, in light of changes occurring in society and rural towns in the 21st century.

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R. Douglas Manning

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will begin play in 2018 as a new franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS). LAFC will replace Chivas USA as the second MLS franchise in the Los Angeles area. Chivas USA competed in 10 seasons of MLS, beginning with the 2005 season. Chivas USA was modeled after its parent organization, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (otherwise known as Guadalajara or Chivas Guadalajara) of the first-division Mexican League. MLS is highly regarded for its diversity initiatives, and Chivas USA was to focus on reaching the large Hispanic/Latino audience in the Los Angeles area. The club played alongside the Los Angeles Galaxy, one of MLS’s inaugural franchises, in the Home Depot Center (now StubHub Center) in Carson, California.

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César García

Real Madrid Football Club is today the richest sport team in the world and the third most valuable sport brand, according to the latest rankings (e.g., Deloitte, 2010; Forbes 2009). This scholarly commentary proposes the application of a relationship management model of building long-lasting relationships with fans as the main key of Real Madrid’s success. Results of this study highlight that, under the presidency of Florentino Pérez, a public relations approach has been integrated into every strategic decision including the recruitment of players with media appeal; the use of event planning, Internet, social media, promotional tours, and publications; and the display of Real Madrid’s own audiovisual media. The adoption of this model has proven successful despite poor sports results.

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Stephen Morrow and Brian Howieson

Professional football (soccer) in Europe has changed dramatically in the past two decades, largely due to the escalation of media rights deals. Many professional football clubs are now complex businesses, intrinsically concerned with financial matters. Within the rapidly changing business context of football, the aim of this research is to further understand the main issues that are related to a career as a manager. This paper has five sections: (1) we offer an appraisal of the general literature as it applies to professional football management; (2) we introduce the theoretical focus of the article with specific reference to the “career” and describe the context and background to the research; (3) we describe the research methodology and present and discuss the research results, which center on the career development of the manager; the position of a manager in organizational structures, and how the changing organization affects the role of manager; (4) we set out the conclusions and implications of our research; and (5) we offer our plans to progress this research, enabling a new body of knowledge to be developed on this specialized role.

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Christiana Schallhorn and Jessica Kunert

’s daily and weekly agenda is determined by his relationship with the football club” ( Porat, 2010 , p. 277). Furthermore, football has an enormous social function in Germany: it connects people of different ages, origins, and social classes. Club football, especially, creates a common identity and

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Argyro Elisavet Manoli

An escalating number of crises appear in the sport industry in general and the football industry in particular that make the area of crisis communication an increasingly important matter in both the everyday running and the long-term viability of football. However, the sensitivity of the topic makes an extensive analysis on current practice in crisis communications a particularly challenging task. This study examines how crisis communications is managed by investigating the current practices and techniques employed in English Premier League clubs, as they were presented by communications professionals employed in the clubs. The analysis of the clubs’ practices underlines the lack of proactivity and presents the most popular strategies of crisis-communications management: “Wait for the dust to settle” and “React promptly before the noise grows.” In addition, an underdocumented technique is examined: the use of the informal personal relationships between the employees of the clubs and the members of the media. This study also introduces the “crisis communications management in football” model, which illustrates the practices identified through this study and can potentially act as a guide for crisis-communications analysis in a number of other industries.