Christer Ericsson & Björn Horgby
In this article, we examine the conditions of some women’s elite football clubs for developing a pure business model from the 1990s. We have chosen the clubs in our study because of their sporting successes and ways of building their organizations. Since its establishment, women’s football has existed under completely different conditions than men’s football. The commercialization process of male elite football took a long time, and it was not until the 1980s that the company-controlled model replaced the previous models. In women’s football, the change took place later and not quite in the same way as in the men’s football clubs. This was because women’s football, due to the patriarchal power relations in society, was for a long time socially marginalized and therefore had worse conditions for commercialization. Our study shows that the clubs that have been most successful in the long run in terms of organization and sports have been hybrid organizations that combined democracy and corporate governance. Since the democratic governance model still has a relatively strong position in women’s football, there is an association or organizational capital that has contributed to the most successful clubs being able to develop hybrid organizations so successfully.
CHRISTER ERICSSON is professor emeritus in sport sciences, Örebro University. He has also written books about foundry industry, football and bandy in foundry villages, and paternalistic politics.
BJÖRN HORGBY is professor emeritus in history, Örebro University. Together with Christer Ericsson and Bill Sund he wrote Fotboll, kommersialisering, demokrati (Bokförlaget idrottsforum.org, Malmö 2019). He has also written books about labour history, working class culture, rock music and industrial paternalism in Sweden and Japan together with Christer Ericsson and Shunji Ishihara (Faderliga företagare i Sverige och Japan, Stockholm 2016).
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