To what extent does the English Premier League address CSR?

Varsani, Rajesh (2009) To what extent does the English Premier League address CSR? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Various research has looked into the expansion of CSR within the management field. However CSR can vary substantially between different industries such as its application in sport. There is a growing interest in this field as stakeholders have placed greater emphasis on professional sports teams to have a social responsibility. This expectation has been largely fuelled by the Olympics movement – the single largest sporting event across the world - who have asked potential host cities to draw up plans on how they will host the event with ‘sustainability’ in mind. The forthcoming London 2012 Olympics boasts ‘sustainability’ at the heart of their plans covering areas such as healthy living, climate change, waste and providing facilities for the local community for many years to come. This expectation has transferred into other sporting events such as the National Football League in America (Babiak K and Wolfe R, 2006) and more recently in football across Europe especially the English Premier League as a result of commercialization which has seen the league declared the richest in the world (Dobson, S and Goddard J, 2001).

This dissertation looks at how the understanding of CSR has changed within the English Premier League and the changes in practises as a result of a new approach to being a socially responsible football club. The website content analysis and web based questionnaire highlight how exactly CSR is currently being practised by the 20 EPL clubs of the 2008/09 season and the views of the clubs most important stakeholder – the fans. The results of the website content analysis highlight the fact that not all EPL clubs have developed their understanding of CSR beyond philanthropy and links with the community.

The dissertation then moved onto some of the other issues such as football in the community departments to answer questions as to why clubs struggle to communicate CSR effectively. The structure of the FITC departments provides the answer as to one of the factors into the struggle of communicating CSR. The dissertation then moves onto governance issues within the EPL and importantly the lack of any good governance as one of the reasons why CSR within the EPL is greeted with scepticism.

Finally the dissertation looks at ‘high profile’ ways to boost their CSR programmes such as developing responsible sponsorship criteria. The dissertation explores two separate models, one that is currently being used by a number of clubs across England. The second is a new model that could harness the same benefits but looks into allowing clubs to have a sponsor therefore benefiting from the additional revenue. The research then closes and provides opportunities for future research within the field of CSR and sport.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2010 09:54
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2016 12:02

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