Responsibility, ethics and regulation: An impact assessment of Financial Fair Play Regulations in Spanish professional football.
Since the end of the 20th century football has become an ever-expanding business, especially in European economies. It has created internal pressures in the systemization of processes, regulatory control, professionalization of tasks and organizational modernization in general. In addition, the increasing social weight of football has led to calls for more ethical and responsible business practice, more consistent with the contemporary social values currently gaining ground in other sectors. From this perspective, we assess the reactions of the Spanish professional football sector to the compulsory application of responsible corporate management criteria (Economic Control Regulation). We carried out a study of the coming into effect of such regulation in professional clubs financial performance in two seasons, 2010-11 and 2014-15 (before and after, respectively, the imposition of the ECR). Our findings show a marked improvement in financial indicators. The central discussion of this paper focuses on ways that responsible management improves company profitability.