Title: Small-world networks and regional traders on the European football transfer market

Authors: Diána Ivett Fűrész; Zsolt Havran

Addresses: Department of Economics and Econometrics, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pécs, H-7624 Pécs, Rákóczi 80, Hungary ' Department of Business Studies, Institute of Business Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest, H-1093 Budapest, Fővám tér 8, E.137, Hungary

Abstract: There is a huge difference between European football clubs in their financial and sporting performance, which may be due to their distinct economic conditions and motivations on the transfer market. Transfers of players can be considered a special supply chain; therefore, the investigation of transfer networks and central actors may yield valuable results. Unlike previous research, the European transfer market is investigated on a regional level where different groups are identified as various networks. We assume that these differences are resulted in the diverse structure of networks (small-world/random), with clubs demonstrating very different attitudes. To support this, assuming the transfer market is divided into four networks, the small-world indicators are calculated for each network by applying social network analysis, considering some 20,000 transfers between 2005 and 2019. The practical benefit of this study is the identification of the main participants and brokers in each network.

Keywords: European football; transfer market; Eastern Europe; social network analysis; small-world; betweenness centrality; sports management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.10043934

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.5/6, pp.365 - 385

Accepted: 13 Jul 2021
Published online: 03 Jan 2022 *

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