Impact on Competitive Balance from Allowing Foreign Players in a Sports League: Evidence from European Soccer Articles uri icon

authors

  • TENA HORRILLO, JUAN DE DIOS
  • FORREST, DAVID K.
  • FLORES DIAZ, RAMON JESUS

published in

publication date

  • November 2010

start page

  • 546

end page

  • 557

issue

  • 4

volume

  • 63

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0023-5962

abstract

  • Different theoretical frameworks have yielded different predictions concerning the impact on competitive balance of widening the pool of players from which clubs in a sports league are permitted to recruit. We
    identify that one reason for differences is that models may represent
    clubs as hiring from the pool of talent either simultaneously or in a
    leader-follower fashion (such that strong clubs have first pick of
    players). With the latter assumption, we suggest that there is an
    effect, the sign depending on how many extra talented players are
    admitted to the pool. Whether balance is modified favourably or
    unfavourably when, for example, foreign players are introduced is
    therefore an empirical matter. In our statistical analysis, we test for
    effects from the liberalisation of football player labour markets
    associated with the Bosman Ruling. We show that, across seventeen
    European football leagues, results derived from indicators based on
    tables of aggregated seasonal performance (for example, concentration
    ratios) point to an improvement in within-season (but not cross-season)
    competitive balance following Bosman