An Analysis of the Diversity of Financial Resources in Grassroot Sports Clubs: A European Perspective

By Eric Barget, Sabine Chavinier-Réla

This article provides an analysis of the budget structure of amateur sports clubs, and identifies some variables explaining the degree of income diversification of these clubs. The method is applied at a European level, and the econometric analysis concerns more than 1500 amateur sports clubs that have answered the survey. In this paper, particular attention is paid to the comparison between six sports.The main results distinguish soccer and tennis as being in opposite situations: the former succeeds in diversifying its budget thanks to commercial revenues, while the second has a model strongly based on membership fees associated with a weak public support. Gymnastics and swimming show an income concentration on membership, complemented by significant subsidies. Athletics and basketball diversify their budget thanks to a share of public funding.Some factors that influence the degree of diversification of clubs’ resources are shared, in particular the size of the budget; some others have a specific role according to the sport. Having high level sportspeople is favorable to revenue diversification for tennis and swimming clubs, while the availability of a clubhouse clearly appears to be crucial for soccer, as it is for swimming clubs.


  • grassroot sports clubs
  • funding
  • diversification indices
  • revenues
  • comparison by sport
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