New Geographies of the International Recruitment of Football Players in Europe

New Geographies of the International Recruitment of Football Players in Europe

Wednesday 17th February 2010 at 6pm

Medawar Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London),
Malet Place, (off Torrington Place),
London WC1
(For directions please see the pdf map).

Given by:

Dr Raffaele Poli

Sports Science Institute, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

The Professional Football Players’ Observatory (PFPO) at the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) of the University of Neuchâtel is Europe’s leading academic research centre for the study of the football players’ labour market. The Centre publishes two key annual analytical documents. About to go into its fifth year of publication, the Annual Review of the European Football Players is the definitive reference publication for information on football labour market trends and the logics of squad formation in the five main European leagues. Now in its second year of publication the Demographic Study of European Footballers is an annual publication which offers a scientific analysis of the European football players’ labour market. It presents the dynamics at work in 36 first division leagues in UEFA member countries.

In this seminar, drawing on data from both publications and the work of the PFPO, Dr Raffaele Poli, one of the founders of both publications, presents the latest results on international flows of footballers towards and within Europe.  The first part of his presentation is dedicated to the big-5 European leagues. It analyzes the changes occurred in the geography of international signings since 2005 under the light of the concept of globalization. From the perspective of the labour market of footballers, this is defined as the functional integration of championships on a transnational scale implying an increase in the number of international flows and a spatial diversification of the routes of players’ trade. The second part presents the situation observed in October 2009 in 36 top division leagues of UEFA member countries. Leagues are classified in different categories according to the geographic areas of foreign recruitment of their clubs.


Raffaele Poli is junior professor assistant at the Sports Science Institute of the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he runs a Master in Management of Sport and Leisure. He is also scientific collaborator at the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) of the University of Neuchâtel. He is the co-founder and director of the Professional Football Players’ Observatory, a research group made up of Swiss, French and Italian academics investigating the labour market of footballers.


Contact Details

Birkbeck Sport Business Seminar Series Contact Details

For further details on the seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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