Football, networks, and relationships
Networks are an institutional form of economic organisation besides the traditional forms of markets and hierarchies (Powell, 1990). Networks are conceptualised as aggregates of bilateral relationships and exchanges that build up to networks, consisting of at least three actors. In the context of football business, two types of networks are relevant: inter-organisational and intra-organisational networks. Network-theoretical concepts and methods of social network analysis (SNA) provide a wealth of opportunities to study and understand network structures in football. It enables an understanding of how relationships and networks come into being, how they are structured, and what the outcomes of networks are. Based on this understanding, network management and governance as well as strategic network development is fostered. This chapter provides a comprehensive review on literature on football business network research. Drawing on a network perspective, it analyses the contemporary football business based on selected cases and secondary data, while offering practical implications and directions for future research.