The paper aims to provoke discussion about two issues. Firstly, how do economic ideas, concepts, theories, principles and information enter into the discourse of the owners and controllers of Europe’s most popular sport – football – and into political discussion about the game? It stresses the role management consultants have created for themselves in the new football 'industry'. Secondly, as a specific example of the general concern, the paper considers the role of the Deloitte company in European football. Its publications – especially the Annual Reviews of Football Finance – have been very influential and the company has acted as consultants for UEFA on many of the key issues in contemporary football. The paper critically assesses the approach Deloitte has adopted to the commercialisation of football, and explores difficulties in the way it has analysed some of the key issues in European football. It suggests that some countervailing forces need to be created to limit the authority and influence Deloitte currently exercise.
Deloitte, football finance, consultants, UEFA
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