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European Super League: When business isn’t just business

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger

The fury that has greeted the proposal for a European Super League has prompted allegation of greed and self interest. These football clubs are multi billion pound businesses and business is all about making money . So what’s the problem?

Organisations are finance driven. Business is about money ,the bottom line and profit or is it? In their annual reports organisations increasingly stress their green credentials and links to local communities. During the Pandemic many companies have been keen to be seen helping their local communities.

Whether this is evidence of businesses ethics in practice or simply a cynical marketing and PR exercise is often hard to determine. But the criticism of clubs planing to join the super league is about a willingness to break the historic links with their local communities. To dispense with current customer in order to reach a much wider ,bigger and richer audience. It may be unpopular, is it unethical or simply good business?

Would it make financial and business sense to put loyalty to existing customers before increased profit? Would it make a difference if football clubs were run as not for profit organisations? I worked for a large National Housing Association which was a not for profit organisation.

The board were concerned only that the organisation was financially viable and being national was not responsive or sensitive to local communities. A loss making scheme or group of homes was closed without a thought to the local implications or the impact on those effected. May be things would have been different if it was a small local Housing Association.

If business is about making money then it would appear that organisations that don’t rely on the loyalty of local customers don’t need to invest in maintaining links with local communities. But if an organisation relies on local people for its workforce and local people for its customers then it makes a lot of sense to invest in the local community.

It’s just good business.

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