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The impact of participation in pan-European competition on domestic performance in Association Football.

Moffat, J. (2020) 'The impact of participation in pan-European competition on domestic performance in Association Football.', European sport management quarterly., 20 (4). pp. 440-457.


Research question: This paper empirically examines whether participation in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League has a causal impact on the performance of teams in national leagues. An appropriate methodology is adopted to address the selection bias that arises because Europa League participants tend to be stronger than other teams in their league due to the qualification criteria for pan-European competition. Research methods: Longitudinal data is used consisting of European teams in the top division of their country’s national league in the period 2009–10 to 2017–18. In order to address the selection bias, the regression discontinuity design estimator is employed. Results and findings: The results show no statistically significant effect from participation in the Europa League group stage on performance in national leagues for teams from stronger leagues but a positive and statistically significant effect for teams from weaker leagues. Implications: The results suggest that the knowledge gained and/or the financial benefits from group stage participation outweigh any negative effects arising from the travel and additional games required by participation in the group stages of the Europa League in weaker leagues. They are therefore supportive of increasing the share of UEFA competition revenues given to non-participating clubs in order to mitigate the negative effect of these competitions on domestic competitive balance.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European sport management quarterly on 19 June 2019 available online:
Date accepted:28 May 2019
Date deposited:30 May 2019
Date of first online publication:19 June 2019
Date first made open access:19 December 2020

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