Funding awarded for study of economic impact of football clubs

28 January 2020

Funding awarded for study of economic impact of football clubs

New research by Henley Business School academics looking at the impact of football clubs on the local economy has been awarded more than £15,000 in funding.

The project, titled The Impact of Football Clubs on the Local Economy and Society, will be led by Dr Ivan Sangiorgi and Dr Andrew Urquhart from the ICMA Centre at Henley, and Professor Matthew Worley from the Department of History at the University of Reading.

They will investigate whether clubs generate benefits for the local economy and help shape the cultural identity of the region, using Reading FC as the basis of the pilot study.

The project is one of eight to receive funding from the University of Reading’s Research Endowment Trust Fund Open Fund (RETF), which supports research of up to two years’ duration, and was awarded £15,148.

It will also be investigating how Reading supporters engage with the activities of ‘the Royals’, and how the ‘gentrification’ of football, psychological traits, demographic factors and consumption behaviours of fans affect the identity of the local community in Berkshire.

The findings of this project seek to inform the decision-making process of local authorities in the county and Reading FC.

Dr Ivan Sangiorgi, Lecturer in Finance at Henley, said:

“We are delighted that the RETF Open Fund has awarded us this funding. We believe that our project will add to the discussion on the benefits of football clubs to the local society and inform potential policy decisions regarding the relationship between football clubs and their regions. We also hope that the study will help better understand how the local community in Berkshire and Reading FC interact and benefit from each other.”
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