What determines the size of a football club

Controlling match days in football clubs. Possibilities and limits


1 Introduction

2 Theoretical Foundations
2.1 Football clubs and match days
2.2 Controlling
2.3 Classification of the controlling of match days

3 Implementation of the controlling of match days
3.1 Planning and control function
3.2 Information supply function
3.3 Selected instruments
3.3.1 DB and income statement
3.3.2 Yield Management
3.3.3 Risk Management System

4 Critical Appreciation

5 Summary and Outlook

1 Introduction

Measured on the basis of audience numbers and TV hours, the football leagues are by far the most important sports leagues in Germany from a social perspective.[1] But also from an economic point of view they are gaining more and more value, the participating football clubs have developed into international corporations with sales in the nine-digit range.[2] However, recurring financial problems in these clubs show a lack of economic stability. The fact that economic sustainability is often not taken seriously is also reflected in the notoriously poorly represented controlling structures in these companies.[3] An expansion of the controlling, especially for the core business of the Bundesliga, can provide the urgently needed stability. The separate consideration of a single game day is of particular interest, since every match, every opposing team and the environment of every game day is different. Good preparation for this is essential.

The expansion of game day-related controlling, however, harbors the challenge of recognizing for which aspects of the game day better preparation is possible and useful. On the one hand, this leads to the question of how the goals of game day controlling can be defined. On the other hand, it raises the question of which instruments support the clubs in practice with controlling-related issues and which do not.

In order to pursue these questions, after defining basic terms and classifying the topic in Chapter 2, the aim of this thesis is to first create an understanding of the target functions of controlling in relation to the game day in Chapter 3. Then selected instruments are presented which contribute to the achievement of these goals. Chapter 4 looks at the benefits football clubs can actually generate by using these instruments. In chapter 5 the summary and the outlook follow.

2 Theoretical Foundations

2.1 Football clubs and match days

Viemann et al. (2005) have demonstrated a lack of controlling structures in the first German soccer leagues. Many Bundesliga clubs did not have an independent controlling department at that time, although this deficiency can be assessed as higher in the lower leagues.[4] More recent surveys also revealed a deficit in the organizational anchoring of independent controlling.[5] According to the clubs in the lower leagues, this is due to the high costs of independent controlling.[6] Therefore, this work focuses on the German leagues with the highest density of existing controlling structures: the first and second German Bundesliga. These two leagues each consist of 18 licensed teams, to which this work refers as football clubs.[7]

In addition to the German championship, the football clubs concerned take part in many other competitions such as the DFB Pokal, the League Cup organized by the DFL and the European competition consisting of the Champions League and the Europa League.[8] As the core business of the clubs, however, the Bundesliga can be seen as a guarantor of large sources of income such as television rights and audience income.[9] On the one hand, these sources of income are easier to plan due to the nature of other competitions. The amount of revenue from the DFB Cup, for example, may be due to a possible early elimination through the knockout system[10] can vary greatly up to winning the final.[11] The same applies to the Champions League, which guarantees relatively high income even if you are eliminated after the group phase, but with every success or failure in the subsequent knockout system, the income here also varies greatly.[12] On the other hand, the championship itself also lays the foundation for possible participation in other competitions such as the Champions League. The focus on the core business suggests that the observation of the controlling of match days should be limited to those of the Bundesliga championship. A football club in the first or second Bundesliga competes twice against every other club in the league on 34 match days in the round two.[13] These 34 championship game days are the focus of this work.

2.2 Controlling

Even if up to now there have often been inconsistencies and misunderstandings in the interpretation of the controller and its tasks, there is now a uniform view on this topic.[14] The subdivision of controlling into the functional perspective, i.e. which controlling tasks are to be mastered, the instrumental perspective, i.e. with which tools and aids these can be met, and ultimately the institutional perspective, i.e. how the process organization of controlling is optimally designed, is in the description of controlling systems has become a standard.[15] This work is limited to the consideration of game day controlling on a functional and instrumental level, since embedding suitable possibilities for game day controlling in the controlling organization design is regarded as a downstream work.

The functional perspective, i.e. the controlling tasks, is described by the planning function, the control function, the information supply function, the coordination and the control function. The coordination function is intended to cover the coordination needs that arise when the management system is differentiated into planning, control and the information system.[16] The control function describes how business activities are influenced by planning and control.[17] The coordination and control function of controlling will not be dealt with in more detail in this thesis, as they are downstream in order to find a suitable match day controlling.

2.3 Classification of the controlling of match days

The peculiarity of the topic "Controlling match days in football clubs" becomes clear through the strong reference to the operational controlling of this field. Controlling in professional sports organizations generally has a strong strategic relationship.[18] The controlling functions presented under 2.2 make it clear that controlling a game day is not limited to activities on the game day itself. Thanks to the planning function, the preparation of a game day is one of the activities of game day controlling. The control also includes the follow-up work that takes place after the game day. From a controlling point of view, the definition of a game day of the Bundesliga championship, which itself only takes place on a weekend, has to be extended to a period that provides sufficient time before the game day to prepare for the game day and also sufficient time for retrograde control after the Matchday lets.

3 Implementation of the controlling of match days

Science suggests many methods and instruments for controlling to the clubs. However, due to a lack of controlling structures and a lack of professional commercial management, they are not sufficiently accepted by many clubs.[19]

3.1 Planning and control function

The planning function of controlling can be seen as the starting point of the management cycle, since it determines the will formation and is therefore the primary function of the management action.[20] In this way, it determines the actions of all other subsystems in order to achieve the defined goals through them.[21] The goal formation is at the beginning of the planning process.[22] A distinction should be made here between sporting and economic goals, as the relationship between these two goals is not always clear.[23] In most cases, the maximization of sporting success is seen as the top priority, which was also shown in a survey of the Bundesliga clubs.[24] However, sporting success is largely due to economic success and vice versa.[25] Football clubs behave in a profit-maximizing manner without it being their primary goal.[26] Nonetheless, in addition to sporting goals, economic goals should also be defined.[27] The planning of the football clubs is therefore primarily geared towards the objective function of sporting success, and subordinate to that of economic success.

After the goal has been set, the planning problem is identified and its description and analysis.[28] Reasons and alternative solutions for the identified problem are worked out. On the basis of these alternative courses of action, possible consequences can be weighed up in the prognosis phase and ultimately the selection of the best alternative can culminate in the decision-making process through the alternative evaluation.[29] In particular, the fact that the complexity of the planning is low, but the particular uncertainty of this industry described in Chapter 3.3.3 is all the higher, makes a more detailed, short-term and matchday-related planning appear all the more important.[30]

The systematic process of control is intended to determine and analyze deviations between a variable to be tested and a standard variable.[31] The target values ​​determined by the planning are often used as standard values, which is why the control is closely interwoven with the planning. However, it is also possible to use actual values ​​or other variables that have already been achieved.[32] In addition to the documentation, the gain in knowledge and the influencing of behavior, the control as well as the planning should support decision-making.[33] The control process begins with the discovery of a control problem that is triggered by the expectation of a deviation.[34] For this purpose, a suitable comparison between the size to be tested and the standard size must be defined and the deviation of these sizes assessed or its cause analyzed. In this way, adaptation measures can be developed and the mentioned support can be provided in decision-making or the behavior of the people involved can be adapted.[35] The control objects can still be differentiated and differentiated into process, behavior and result controls.[36] In addition to the pure control of the results, it is also conceivable to control the behavior of the decision-makers, which can lead to useful insights in football. From a sporting point of view, for example, looking at the coach's behavior during the game is often more meaningful than looking at the game result. Furthermore, the behavior of an extrinsically motivated trainer can be controlled by linking control with formal incentives such as bonuses.[37]

3.2 Information supply function

Leadership as a goal-oriented influence on people is characterized by a functioning information system, as it usually takes place through the passing on of information. The reporting system, which covers the information needs of an information recipient, is derived from the information system. Particularly for the organization of the game day of a football club, a quick reaction capability is required, which necessitates a timely supply of information with economic, but above all also sporting information such as the degree of achievement of sporting goals.[38] A suitable information system is characterized by the timely forwarding of information on environmental changes and its adaptation to these.[39] The information system also works closely with planning and control, since information is required as input for planning and control, which in turn serves to improve the level of information available to management.[40] The information system can thus be seen as the basis for planning and control.[41] It starts with the identification of information requirements, i.e. the definition of what information is required to meet the club's interests.[42] As part of the subsequent information gathering, information from various sources is recognized and collected.[43] Finally, the reporting is used to provide the information to the recipient of the information. Documentation, management, control as well as the preparation of decisions are goals of the reporting system.[44]


[1] see Göke and Wirkes 2010, p. 51.

[2] see Eisenberger 2006, p. 52.

[3] see Viemann et al. 2005, p. 296ff; Reuter 2014, p. 1ff; Mazurkiewicz et al. 2014, p. 76ff.

[4] see Viemann et al. 2005, p. 311.

[5] see Mazurkiewicz et al. 2014, p. 77.

[6] see Viemann et al. 2005, p. 308.

[7] see DFL 2016.

[8] see UEFA 2016a.

[9] see Dörnemann 2002a, p. 170.

[10] see DFB 2012.

[11] see DFB 2016.

[12] see UEFA 2016b.

[13] see DFL 2016.

[14] see Horváth et al. 2015, p. 29.

[15] see Dörnemann 2002a, p. 120.

[16] see also in detail: Horváth et al. 2015, p. 97f; Weber and Schäffer 2014, p. 24ff

[17] see Kloch 2014, p. 8; on this also in detail: Keller 2008, p. 6ff; Thieme 2012, p. 15.

[18] see Dörnemann 2002b, p. 155.

[19] see Mazurkiewicz et al. 2014, p. 77ff.

[20] see Weber and Schäffer 2014, p. 255.

[21] see Göke and Wirkes 2010, p. 71.

[22] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 131.

[23] see Göke and Wirkes 2010, p. 44.

[24] see Viemann et al. 2005, p. 301; Benner 1992, p. 91.

[25] see Keller 2008, p. 313.

[26] see Swieter 2002, pp. 149ff.

[27] see Göke and Wirkes 2010, p. 71.

[28] see Kloch 2014, p. 4.

[29] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 132ff.

[30] see Haas 2002, p. 84.

[31] see Kloch 2014, p. 5.

[32] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 258.

[33] see Kloch 2014, p. 5.

[34] see Haas 2002, p. 141.

[35] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 259; Haas 2002, p. 140.

[36] see Kloch 2014, p. 6.

[37] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 259.

[38] see Haas 2002, p. 68.

[39] see Haas 2002, p. 103.

[40] see Kloch 2014, p. 6.

[41] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 183.

[42] see Küpper et al. 2013, p. 222.

[43] see Kloch 2014, p. 7.

[44] see Weber and Schäffer 2014, p. 230.

End of the reading sample from 18 pages