Governance of Professional Sport Leagues: Towards a Convergence Between North America and Europe?


  • Paché Gilles


  • Collective action
  • Competition
  • Governance
  • Professional sport leagues

document type



The governance of professional sports clubs is an increasingly studied research subject. This can be attributed to the very high economic and financial stakes, which often overshadows the sporting stakes. Two governance models coexist: (1) the European model, based on the competition between clubs to individually increase the revenues of each club; (2) the North American model, based on a complex regulatory system to collectively increase the revenues of the whole franchise. This paper shows the founding principles of each model and underlines, by considering the case of European football (soccer), that a convergence of the two governance models is likely in the future. The North American model of collective governance of a franchise could become necessary in Europe, which would completely transform the competitive landscape of professional clubs. It would therefore demonstrate the superiority of collective governance with a view to creating value for clubs of a same franchise.

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