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Football fans ask for more transparency

Football fans ask for more transparency

The survey conducted by the CIES Football Observatory to celebrate its 15th birthday has allowed us to collect extremely interesting data on the perception of fans on professional football.

A clear majority of the 2,061 respondents considers that the level of transparency around transfers is not sufficient.

Football enthusiasts are also of the opinion that not enough teams are winning trophies.

The full study is available in the 61st edition of the Monthly Report.

Almost nine participants out of ten also believe that football agents earn too much money.

From this perspective, the cap on commissions decided by FIFA has the fans’ approval.

More generally, any initiative aimed at rendering transfer operations less opaque would be very welcome. In this respect, the obligation to communicate the financial details of player transactions would be a very good step forward.

Almost four fans out of five think that the competitive balance in domestic leagues is not sufficient.

However, only less than one third consider that the number of national championship matches is too high.

From a political point of view, in particular in the European context with the supposed possible creation of a continental super league, this finding can be interpreted as a standing by football enthusiasts in favour of domestic leagues.

Among the various other interesting results, the vast majority of fans is also of the opinion that the costs involved in viewing matches, whether at the stadium or via television, are too high.

From a fan retention perspective, this situation is problematic. It is a major challenge to the future popularity of football, especially concerning the new generations, who are already used to have free access to the e-sport spectacle.

To end on a positive note, almost seven out of ten participants in the questionnaire think that there is not too much match fixing, nor doping, in professional football. Regarding these two aspects, the confidence of the fans in the beautiful game remains intact.

With respect to many other issues, however, many reforms should be carried out to maintain fan support, improving the image of the game and stimulating the positive effects of football on the society.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information.

About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport
Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Phone +41 32 718 39 00 - Fax +41 32 718 39 01
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The Editors

Managing editor
Dr. Rijkele Betten

Consulting editor
Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw

Editorial board

Prof. Guglielmo Maisto
Maisto e Associati, Milano

Dr. Dick Molenaar
All Arts Tax Advisors, Rotterdam


Mr. Kevin Offer
Hardwick & Morris LLP, London

Mr. Mario Tenore
Maisto e Associati, Milano


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