Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. Service Management

Currently: European Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1898-0511     eISSN: 2353-2858    OAI    DOI: 10.18276/smt.2015.15-09
CC BY-SA   Open Access 

Issue archive / Vol. 15, 1/2015
Impact of mergers and acquisitions on sport performance of football clubs in the highest professional league in Poland

Authors: Szczepan Kościółek
Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Karolina Nessel
Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Keywords: Ekstraklasa football mergers and acquisitions sports club sport performance
Data publikacji całości:2015
Page range:10 (77-86)
Cited-by (Crossref) ?:


Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in professional sports evoke strong emotions. Whereas for some economists (and club owners) they are just business operations aimed to improve sport and financial performance of organizations, the supporters often reject this proposition on the grounds of identity and symbol issues. Given the lack of studies devoted to consolidation operations in Polish professional sports, the paper undertakes the analysis of M&As in the highest professional football league in Poland (Ekstraklasa) since 1989 with the aim to verify their impact on sport performance of the football clubs involved. The results of this multiple case study indicate that the main motivations for M&As in the sports club context are the same as in other industries (search for specific assets, strategic considerations, profit and loss calculations). In addition, the success rate also resembles the one in other sectors: only in one case (out of four studied) the merger has led to a clear and lasting improvement of sport performance (although not an immediate one). The distinctive features of the successful merger of Lech Poznań with Amica Wronki are: a well conducted preparation and negotiation process, and the same league division of the merging clubs. On the other hand, common factors of organizational and hence sporting failure of the other 3 cases were: lack of long-term strategy, the owners’ financial difficulties, and conflicts with the top league governing body.
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