“Corporate Governance in the Australian Football League”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 21st November 2007 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“Corporate Governance in the Australian Football League”

Given by:

Dr Julie Foreman, senior lecturer in business at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia


This presentation will focus on corporate governance practices within the pre-eminent sporting competition in Australia, the Australian Football League. The AFL is the custodian of the most successful football code in the country and is responsible for the organisation of the most popular national sports league and the long-term development of the game. The AFL comprises sixteen clubs from across Australia. Although originally formed as amateur organisations and managed by volunteers, the clubs are now multi-million dollar enterprises run by professional sports administrators and governed by boards of directors. During the 1980s mismanagement in the AFL was common, illustrating the need to improve standards of club governance. The key governance issue in many sports is to ensure continued financial stability whilst limiting the perception by supporters that they are being disenfranchised in favour of corporate sponsors and the media. With this in mind, the discussion will focus on governance practices in AFL clubs.


  • Foreman, J (2003) Corporate governance issues in a professional sport, available here PDF file
  • Foreman, J (2005) Corporate Governance Issues in Professional Football: A Comparison between Australian and English Football Codes, in Hess, R, Nicholson, M, & Steward, R (eds) Football Fever: Crossing Boundaries, Maribyrnang Press, Melbourne, pp 89-103


Dr. Julie Foreman is a senior lecturer in business at Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia. Her teaching and research interests are in financial analysis, performance measurement and governance. She has written several papers on governance in the business sector including modules for professional associations.  As a fanatical Australian Football supporter her PhD thesis combined both her interest in sport governance and performance by investigating the common attributes of the highly effective or highly ineffective clubs in the Australian Football League. She has also developed and delivers a one semester course in Sport Governance as part of a Master in Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne.

For further details on the Birkbeck Sports Business Seminar Series contact:

Sean Hamil

Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Email: or Tel: 020-7631 6763

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