Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

The effects of participation in European competitions on the domestic competitiveness of Polish football clubs



Objective: The objective of this study was to establish whether participation in European football competitions affects the sports performance of Polish football clubs in the domestic league. Accordingly, negative short-term effects and positive medium-term effects were hypothesized.

Research Design & Methods: Based on the case of Polish Ekstraklasa, observations covering a 10-year competition period (seasons 2011/12 to 2020/21) were tested in regression models that included the league points and positions in the table as dependent variables and participation in the European UEFA competition and promotion to the group stage as explanatory variables.

Findings: The results revealed that if a Polish football club competes in European competitions, there are neither negative consequences for its domestic competitiveness in the short run nor positive consequences in the medium-term period.

Implications & Recommendations: Every season, football teams throughout Europe make an effort to internationalize themselves through UEFA competitions. This study demonstrates to sports managers that, contrary to common belief, engaging limited resources of football clubs outside the top leagues to compete in two competitions simultaneously has neutral effect.

Contribution & Value Added: To date, researchers have been interested in determining the influence of international competitions on the level of competitive balance. This is the first study on the impact of participation in European UEFA competitions on sports performance in domestic leagues outside Western Europe.


competitive imbalance, financial fair-play (FFP), resource-based view (RBV), sport performance, sports clubs, UEFA

(PDF) Save

Author Biography

Szczepan Kościółek

Assistant Professor at the Institute of Entrepreneurship of Jagiellonian University (Poland). PhD in management (2022, Jagiellonian University). His research interests include both sports economics and management, specifically, the areas of sectoral policies, consumer behaviours, and competitiveness.


  1. (2022). Archiwum, Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  2. Ahtiainen, S., & Jarva, H. (2022). Has UEFA’s financial fair play regulation increased football clubs’ profitability?. European Sport Management Quarterly, 22(4), 569-587.
  3. Andreff, W. (2007). French football: A financial crisis rooted in weak governance. Journal of Sports Economics, 8(6), 652-661.
  4. Andreff, W. (2018). Financial and Sporting Performance in French Football Ligue 1 : Influence on the Players’ Market. International Journal of Financial Studies, 6(4), 91-118.
  5. Andreff, W., & Bourg, J.-F. (2006). Broadcasting rights and competition in European football. In C. Jeanrenaud & S. Késenne (Eds.), The economics of sport and the media (pp. 37-70). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  6. Barajas, Á., & Rodríguez, P. (2010). Spanish football clubs’ finances: Crisis and player salaries. International Journal of Sport Finance, 5(1), 52-66.
  7. Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99-120.
  8. Barros, C. P., Assaf, A. G., & de Araujo Jr, A. F. (2011). Cost performance of Brazilian soccer clubs: A Bayesian varying efficiency distribution model. Economic Modelling, 28(6), 2730-2735.
  9. Barros, C. P., & Leach, S. (2006). Performance evaluation of the English Premier Football League with data envelopment analysis. Applied Economics, 38(12), 1449-1458.
  10. Barros, C. P., Wanke, P., & Figueiredo, O. (2015). The Brazilian Soccer Championship: an efficiency analysis. Applied Economics, 47(9), 906-915.
  11. Bauer, H. H., Stokburger-Sauer, N. E., & Exler, S. (2008). Brand Image and Fan Loyalty in Professional Team Sport : A Refined Model and Empirical Assessment. Journal of Sport Management, 22, 205-226.
  12. Birkhäuser, S., Kaserer, C., & Urban, D. (2019). Did UEFA’s financial fair play harm competition in European football leagues?. Review of Managerial Science, 13(1), 113-145.
  13. Bullough, S. (2018). UEFA champions league revenues, performance and participation 2003-2004 to 2016-2017. Managing Sport and Leisure, 23(1-2), 139-156.
  14. Caruso, R., Di Domizio, M., & Rossignoli, D. (2017). Aggregate wages of players and performance in Italian Serie A. Economia Politica, 34(3), 515-531.
  15. Deloitte Sports Business Group (2022). Football Money League, Deloitte. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  16. Dietl, H. M., Franck, E., & Lang, M. (2008). Overinvestment in team sports leagues: A contest theory model. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 55(3), 353-368.
  17. Dimitropoulos, P., & Scafarto, V. (2021). The impact of UEFA financial fair play on player expenditures, sporting success and financial performance: evidence from the Italian top league. European Sport Management Quarterly, 21(1), 20-38.
  18. Franck, E. (2010). Private firm, public corporation or member’s association governance structures in European football. International Journal of Sport Finance, 5(2), 108.
  19. Franck, E., & Lang, M. (2014). A theoretical analysis of the influence of money injections on risk taking in football clubs. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 61(4), 430-454.
  20. Francois, A., Dermit-Richard, N., Plumley, D., Wilson, R., & Heutte, N. (2021). The effectiveness of UEFA Financial Fair Play: evidence from England and France, 2008-2018. Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 342-362.
  21. Frick, B. (2009). Globalization and Factor Mobility: The Impact of the “Bosman-Ruling” on Player Migration in Professional Soccer. Journal of Sports Economics, 10(1), 88-106.
  22. Gallagher, R., & Quinn, B. (2020). Regulatory own goals: The unintended consequences of economic regulation in professional football. European Sport Management Quarterly, 20(2), 151-170.
  23. Garcia-del-Barrio, P., & Rossi, G. (2020). How the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations affect football clubs’ priorities and leagues’ competitive balance?. European Journal of Government and Economics, 9(2), 119-142.
  24. Gasparetto, T., & Barajas, A. (2018). The determinants of sporting success in the Brazilian football league. International Journal of Sport Finance, 13(2), 183-197.
  25. Ghio, A., Ruberti, M., & Verona, R. (2019). Financial constraints on sport organizations’ cost efficiency: The impact of financial fair play on Italian soccer clubs. Applied Economics, 51(24), 2623-2638.
  26. Hall, S., Szymanski, S., & Zimbalist, A. S. (2002). Testing Causality Between Team Performance and Payroll: The Cases of Major League Baseball and English Soccer. Journal of Sports Economics, 3(2), 149-168.
  27. Iwankiewicz, M. (2021). Pucharowy pocałunek śmierci istnieje. Czesław Michniewicz tylko wpisał się w trend. TVP Sport. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  28. Kesenne, S. (2015). The growing gap between small-and large-country football teams in Europe. In Ethics and Governance in Sport (pp. 137-144). Routledge.
  29. Késenne, S. (2000). Revenue sharing and competitive balance in professional team sports. Journal of Sports Economics, 1(1), 56-65.
  30. Lago-Peñas, C., Lago-Peñas, S., & Lago, I. (2019). Player migration and soccer performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 616.
  31. Lang, M., Grossmann, M., & Theiler, P. (2011). The sugar daddy game: how wealthy investors change competition in professional team sports. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE)/Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft, 557-577.
  32. Lubaś, M. (2020). Równowaga konkurencyjna europejskich lig piłkarskich. In J. Batorski & S. Kościółek (Eds.), Zarządzanie z kodeksem: młodzi o sporcie 2020 (pp. 21-34). Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagielloński Instytut Przedsiębiorczości.
  33. Maclean, F., Cordina, R., & Gannon, M. J. (2022). Caught in a trap? Financial Fair Play Regulations and the case of Scottish football. Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, 14(4), 584-601.
  34. Macmillan, P., & Smith, I. (2007). Explaining International Soccer Rankings. Journal of Sports Economics, 8(2), 202-213.
  35. Norbäck, P. J., Olsson, M., & Persson, L. (2021). Talent development and labour market integration in European football. World Economy, 44(2), 367-408.
  36. Omondi-Ochieng, P. (2019). Resource-based theory of college football team competitiveness. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 27(4), 834-856.
  37. Pawlowski, T., Breuer, C., & Hovemann, A. (2010). Top clubs’ performance and the competitive situation in european domestic football competitions. Journal of Sports Economics, 11(2), 186-202.
  38. Peeters, T., & Szymanski, S. (2014). Financial fair play in European football. Economic Policy, 29(78), 343-390.
  39. Pitts, J. D. (2016). Determinants of Success in the National Football League’s Postseason: How Important Is Previous Playoff Experience? Journal of Sports Economics, 17(1), 86-111.
  40. Plumley, D., Ramchandani, G.M. and Wilson, R. (2019), The unintended consequence of Financial Fair Play: An examination of competitive balance across five European football leagues, Sport, Business and Management, 9(2), 118-133.
  41. Polska-pilka (2022). Tabela wszech czasów ekstraklasy: 1927 – 2021/22. Polska Piłka Nożna. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  42. Rohde, M., & Breuer, C. (2016). Europe’s Elite Football: Financial Growth, Sporting Success, Transfer Investment, and Private Majority Investors. International Journal of Financial Studies, 4(2), 12-32.
  43. Rohde, M., & Breuer, C. (2018). Competing by investments or efficiency? Exploring financial and sporting efficiency of club ownership structures in European football. Sport Management Review, 21(5), 563-581.
  44. Ruta, D., Lorenzon, L., Lolli, N. and Gorlero, P.G. (2022), The impact of money prizes from UEFA competitions on clubs’ national performance, Sport, Business and Management, 12(1), 77-92.
  45. Sass, M. (2016). Glory Hunters, Sugar Daddies, and Long-Term Competitive Balance Under UEFA Financial Fair Play. Journal of Sports Economics, 17(2), 148-158.
  46. Serrano, R., Acero, I., Farquhar, S. and Espitia Escuer, M.A. (2022), Financial fair play and competitive balance in European football: a long term perspective, Sport, Business and Management, ahead-of-print.
  47. Simmons, R., & Deutscher, C. (2012). The economics of the World Cup. The Economics of Sports, 449-469.
  48. Sloane, P. J. (1971). The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximizer. Scottish Journal Of Political Economy, 17, 121-146.
  49. Springham, M., Williams, S., Waldron, M., Strudwick, A. J., Mclellan, C., & Newton, R. U. (2020). Prior workload has moderate effects on high-intensity match performance in elite-level professional football players when controlling for situational and contextual variables. Journal of Sports Sciences, 38(20), 2279-2290.
  50. Tovar, J. (2020). Performance, Diversity and National Identity Evidence from Association Football. Economic Inquiry, 58(2), 897-916.
  51. Transfermarkt (2022). PKO Ekstraklasa. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  52. Wyszyński, A. (2016). Efficiency of Football Clubs in Poland. Olsztyn Economic Journal, 11(1), 59-72.
  53. UEFA (2021). UEFA Financial Report 2019/20. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  54. UEFA (2022). The European Club Footballing Landscape. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
  55. Vöpel, H. (2011). Do we really need financial fair play in european club football? an economic analysis. CESifo DICE Report, 9(3), 54-59.


Download data is not yet available.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 173

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.