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The business of football
The business of football

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3 What makes up the business of football?

The STEEP model provides one way of looking at the environment within which the football industry operates. But what makes up this industry and what do we mean when we talk about the business of football? How are football clubs shaped and how do they make their money?

As Pete Winkelman, chairman of Milton Keynes (MK) Dons, said in 2014:

The MK Dons has lost about £1.5 million a year over the 10 years that I have been involved. In a bad year it can hit £3 million so it really is a very hard thing to keep going. ... Of course what football is, is a great emotional driver. It does drive our other businesses here at Stadium MK but most of all it drives a community, it’s about identity, it is about a place and it is about celebrating the place you are in. So clubs need income from much more than gate receipts for individual clubs to survive.

For the next activity we are very fortunate to have the insight of John Cove the Chief Executive of MK Dons Football Club Sport and Education Trust. John has worked in the football industry for many years and in many different roles.

Activity 4 Shape of a club

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Watch the animation, accompanied by a short interview with John in which he explores some of the different ways in which clubs can be configured. As you listen, note down the differences he explores. Also look at the final image in the animation of ‘the shape of a club’ (reproduced below), then see whether you can create a visual representation of the football club you support. This could be a drawing, a Powerpoint slide or something else.

This is a set of illustrations for example of a football, a stadium and a football player.
Figure 5 The shape of a club
Download this video clip.Video player: MK Dons Director, John Cove talks about how the club is structured
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MK Dons Director, John Cove talks about how the club is structured
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