“Stakeholder Relationships in the Football Industry: The Case of Charlton Athletic”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

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

Wednesday  12th December 2007 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“Stakeholder Relationships in the Football Industry: The Case of Charlton Athletic”

Given by:

Geoff Walters, Lecturer in Management, Birkbeck College, University of London


Over the course of the last 20 years, a large number of professional football clubs have reported serious financial problems, resulting in increasing concerns over corporate governance. A key response has been to assert the dual economic and social role of a football club, maintaining the importance of an inclusive approach to stakeholder relations. Drawing on case study analysis undertaken at Charlton Athletic Football Club, this discussion will illustrate how the club seeks to manage relationships with two key stakeholder groups. Firstly, it will discuss the relationships that Charlton Athletic has with the local community through the work of the football club, the Charlton Athletic Community Trust and the Football in the Community scheme. It will then discuss four ways through which the club have taken an inclusive approach towards their supporters, including inclusive ticket pricing, the Valley Express, supporter engagement and supporter representation. It is argued that the needs of the community and supporters are integrated within the governance structures of the football club, suggesting that Charlton Athletic is a best-practice example of how a football club can put in place measures to develop and maintain inclusive relationships with stakeholder groups.

Biography – Geoff Walters

Geoff Walters is a lecturer in management at Birkbeck, University of London. He has recently completed a PhD funded by the Economic and Social Research Council looking at corporate governance in the football industry, focusing in particular on the stakeholder model of governance.


  • Collins, M (2002) The Rise and Rise of Charlton Athletic: From Portakabins to Porto Captains, London: Mainstream Publishing
  • Everitt, R (1991) Battle for the Valley, Avon:  Formatvisual Ltd

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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