Rugby's Celtic fringe goes global – an economic analysis of the Pro14

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Title: Rugby's Celtic fringe goes global – an economic analysis of the Pro14
Authors: Massey, PatrickHogan, Vincent (Vincent Peter)
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12887
Date: 7-Apr-2022
Online since: 2022-05-17T15:30:00Z
Abstract: Purpose: The introduction of professionalism in 1995 posed serious challenges for Rugby Union in Ireland, Scotland and Wales given their limited fan bases and broadcast markets. It led to the creation of a new league, the Pro14, with teams from all three countries. The paper asks whether the Pro14 has been a success and whether it might offer lessons for other sports. It thus seeks to extend the knowledge base on professional team sports and derive lessons for management of professional sports leagues in small countries. Design/methodology/approach: The authors analyse Pro14 performance using a range of metrics, including attendances, competitive balance and team performances, in European competitions. The authors also analyse the limited financial data available for Pro14 teams. Findings: Pro14 teams have competed successfully in European competition, offering support for claims that mergers of smaller country leagues could improve competitive balance in European soccer. The Pro14 has increased attendances through specific measures and increased broadcast income through geographic expansion. Many Pro14 teams have struggled financially. Several English and French rugby clubs have also experienced financial problems, suggesting that European rugby may need to introduce financial fair play rules (FFPs) similar to soccer. Practical implications: The paper has implications for the Pro14 and its member clubs, particularly with reference to competition design. It may also have lessons for European football where some have suggested that mergers of smaller country leagues could improve competitive balance in European competitions. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the academic discussion on professional team sports, particularly Rugby Union. The paper has implications for Pro14 clubs and league organisers, particularly with reference to competition design. It may also have lessons for European soccer where some have suggested that mergers of smaller country leagues could reduce the dominance of larger country leagues.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal
Volume: 12
Start page: 1
End page: 20
Copyright (published version): 2022 Emerald
Keywords: ManagementPerformance measurementRugby unionFinancial performanceSport financeStructure of professional team sports
JEL Codes: D24; Z20; Z23
DOI: 10.1108/sbm-04-2021-0050
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2042-678X
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Economics Research Collection

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