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Glocal processes in peripheral football countries: Elite youth football clubs in Finland and Hungary

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to increase the understanding of the global and local contexts in football by finding out what complex and interdependent social, cultural and economic dimensions seem to shape periphery football. More specifically, the differences and similarities of Finnish and Hungarian elite youth football clubs in the 2010s are discussed. The theoretical framework is formulated within the social sciences of sport around the globalization of football. The main sources of data are interviews with football practitioners as well as popular publications on Finnish, Hungarian, and international football. The data were analysed with thematic content analysis. It was found that the concept and organization of top-level youth football is different in these two countries. At the same time, homogenization processes related to professionalization and specialization were observed. It is suggested that in spite of their peripheral status, both countries have become increasingly integrated into the global football system. However, the results also indicate that it is highly challenging for these countries to compete on the global football market. Keywords: periphery football, glocalization, youth football, Finland
Glocal processes in peripheral football countries: Elite youth football clubs in Finland
and Hungary
Glokális folyamatok a perifériás országok labdarúgásában: Elit utánpótlás labdarúgó
klubok Finnországban és Magyarországon
Szeróvay, Mihály, PhD student, Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä,
Finland, mihaly.szerovay@jyu.fi, PL 35 (L) 40014 Jyväskylän yliopisto
Perényi, Szilvia, University of Debrecen, Department of Sporteconomics and Management,
sperenyi@hotmail.com
Itkonen, Hannu, Professor in Sport Sociology, PhD, Department of Sport Sciences,
University of Jyväskylä, Finland, hannu.itkonen@jyu.fi
Abstract
The aim of this article is to increase the understanding of the global and local contexts in
football by finding out what complex and interdependent social, cultural and economic
dimensions seem to shape periphery football. More specifically, the differences and
similarities of Finnish and Hungarian elite youth football clubs in the 2010s are discussed.
The theoretical framework is formulated within the social sciences of sport around the
globalization of football. The main sources of data are interviews with football practitioners
as well as popular publications on Finnish, Hungarian, and international football. The data
were analysed with thematic content analysis. It was found that the concept and organization
of top-level youth football is different in these two countries. At the same time,
homogenization processes related to professionalization and specialization were observed. It
is suggested that in spite of their peripheral status, both countries have become increasingly
integrated into the global football system. However, the results also indicate that it is highly
challenging for these countries to compete on the global football market.
Keywords: periphery football, glocalization, youth football, Finland
Összefoglaló
Az cikk célja bemutatni az összetett és egymással kölcsönös függésben lévő társadalmi,
kulturális és gazdasági dimenziók hatását a perifériás labdarúgásra, és ez által mélyebb tudást
szerezni a labdarúgás globális és helyi összefüggéseiről. Vizsgálatunk során a finn és magyar
elit utánpótlás labdarúgó klubok működését hasonlítjuk össze a 2010-es években. Az elméleti
keret a sport társadalomtudományán belül a labdarúgás globalizációjára épül. A kutatáshoz
magyar és finn labdarúgó klubok képviselőivel készített interjúkat, valamint magyar, finn és
nemzetközi labdarúgásról szóló publikációkat használtunk. Az anyagot tematikus
tartalomelemzéssel analizáltuk. A kutatás eredményei rávilágítanak, hogy az elit utánpótlás
labdarúgás fogalma és szerveződése különböző a vizsgált országokban. Ugyanakkor
megfigyeltünk homogenizációs folyamatokat is, amelyek a professzionalizációhoz és
specializációhoz kapcsolódnak. Annak ellenére, hogy mind a két ország labdarúgása jelenleg
periférikusnak mondható, egyre jobban integrálódnak a labdarúgás globális rendszerébe.
Mindazonáltal az eredmények azt mutatják, hogy ezeknek az országoknak rendkívül nagy
kihívás a globális labdarúgó piacon versenyezni.
Kulcsszavak: perifériás labdarúgás, glokalizáció, utánpótlás labdarúgás, Finnország
Introduction
Youth football in Finland and Hungary is characterized by different offsets. Finland has a
strong civil society and a long tradition of volunteerism, both of which have hindered the
progress of market-oriented sport. The development of football based on amateur principles
was reinforced by a decision taken in the 1920s by the Finnish Football Association to favour
amateurism (Itkonen & Nevala, 2007, 14). On the other hand, Hungary has taken after its
state socialist way of organizing top-level sport with a centralized grassroots system and a
considerable sport school network (Vincze, 2008, 23-24). During the post-communist
transition, football has faced continuous financial problems, a loss of social status and interest
as well as poor results, a situation which has resulted in ‘degraded football talent
identification and support’ (Molnar, Doczi, & Gál, 2011, 263). Nevertheless, upon the arrival
of the new government, sport became a strategic area of development in 2010. In parallel
with the aforementioned local development paths in Finland and Hungary, changes in youth
football have been interdependent with globalization processes, including the
professionalization of adult football.
According to an international report on youth academies, there is a lack of ‘a real detailed and
coordinated mapping and understanding of the different models of youth development that
exist from across Europe’ (European Club Association, 2012, 11). Vincze (2008, 100) also
confirms that the scientific literature on youth football is scarce. In addition, far too little
attention has been paid to peripheral football countries such as Finland and Hungary, let
alone to studying them from a global perspective.
This article aims to increase the understanding of the global and local contexts in football by
finding out what social, cultural, and economic dimensions seem to characterize periphery
football. More specifically, we explore and compare the specificities of Finnish and
Hungarian youth football clubs. The research questions addressed are the following: In what
way do the operations of Finnish and Hungarian elite youth football clubs differ in the 2010s?
In what way does the glocal dimension appear on the youth level in the 2010s in these
countries?
Certain limitations, however, need to be made for the scope of this text. This article deals
with ‘elite’ youth clubs. In Hungary, we considered the top 15 youth clubs included in the
Double Pass youth academy audit, commissioned by the Hungarian Football Federation, to be
elite (Double Pass, 2014). In Finland, we took as elite those youth clubs selected for a Finnish
Football Association pilot programme launched in 2013 for developing a quality system
(Finnish Football Association, 2012). Youth football clubs are understood as consisting of
several teams and playing groups in different age groups. Furthermore, for this article we
concentrate on boys’ football. In Finland, women and girls’ football is considerably more
popular and successful compared to Hungary, which would make the comparison too
complicated. In Hungary, the number of licensed players in 2014–15, according to the
website of the Hungarian Football Federation, is about 150,000, of which 8,000 are female.
The equivalent data for Finland is 127,000, of which 27,000 are female players (Finnish
Football Association, n.a.).
Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework is formulated around the globalization of football within the social
sciences of sport. Giulianotti and Robertson (2009, 47) conceptualized glocalization using the
term ‘duality of glocality’. It enables the comprehension of the global-local contexts in
football. According to this concept, processes of homogenization and heterogenization occur
simultaneously in cultures. Generally, homogenization is most noticeable in cultural forms
and institutions, whereas heterogenization is more evident in sociocultural contents and
practices of social groups (Giulianotti & Robertson, 2012, 438). Themes in football that may
be examined through duality of glocality include playing styles, fan cultures and club
governance (Giulianotti & Robertson, 2009, 49).
For this article, duality of glocality enables us to detect how interacting local specificities and
global influences shape the operation of elite youth clubs. The development of professional
football has also moulded the organization of youth football (Vincze, 2008, 20-21). As a
result, practices of top-level sport, such as managerial methods and organizational structures,
began to trickle down to youth sport in a large measure (Itkonen, 2013, 7). These
developments imply homogenization processes in the field of youth football. On the other
hand, working practices often vary depending on the particular environments (Relvas et al.
2010, 182). Such variation can serve as evidence for the relevance of local characteristics and
suggest the importance of heterogenization processes.
Research process
The key research materials used in this qualitative study are expert interviews carried out
with Finnish and Hungarian football practitioners. We conducted two structured interviews in
Finland and three in Hungary with general managers of elite youth football clubs in 2014 and
2015. These include Ferencvarosi TC, Vasas Kubala Academy and Debrecen Football
Academy from Hungary as well as HJK (Helsinki) and JJK (Jyväskylä) from Finland. In
addition, the so-called primary data collected via semi-structured interviews for the first
author’s doctoral dissertation, to which this article also belong, are used. The primary data
consist of interviews with fourteen Finnish and thirteen Hungarian football experts. All the
interviews were carried out in the mother tongue of the informants, recorded, and
subsequently transcribed, which resulted in on average twenty typed pages per interview. In
addition, a considerable amount of literature, media documents and club documentation on
Finnish and Hungarian football were utilized, such as strategies, development plans and
websites.
The interview guide employed consists of the following topics: range of roles in the
organization; embeddedness in the local environment; resources; goals of the club; sporting
activities, competitiveness and coaching; and publicity. These dimensions are based on
Itkonen’s (1991) comprehensive framework, in which essential dimensions related to sport
clubs’ operation were examined. A thematic analysis of the research data was carried out
using Atlas.ti software. We coded the data, created a coding frame, and identified meaningful
themes as a combination of theory and data driven coding. The most notable results were
quantified and are shown in table format.
Results and discussion
The results of this research indicate that elite youth football in the studied countries is
organized and operated under rather different concepts. The most meaningful distinctions
identified in the research data are the scope of activities provided by the clubs as well as the
range of resources available for the operation of the clubs. Therefore, these two themes have
been chosen as a means to more thoroughly examine the differences between the counties.
Afterwards, we discuss the aspects of the data that imply homogenization processes.
First, the typical ‘player pathways’ in elite youth clubs, which reveal the range of activities
organized, are presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Typical player pathways in elite youth clubs in the 2010s
Finnish clubs typically provide activities for a wider range of participants compared to
Hungarian clubs and usually operate as registered associations. This is also the case with elite
youth clubs. A player pathway may start as early as age 2 with family football, with parents
taking part in the activities as well. In the following phase of the pathway, football school or
daycare football are organized up to age 6. Players from 7 to 9 years of age mostly practise
all together while forming several playing groups, which may mean up to 40 to 60 players in
an age group. In case of larger geographical areas, where there can be a huge amount of
players in one age group, district teams may be established, as in the case of HJK from
Helsinki. From approximately age 10, a separate first team that consists of the currently most
advanced players is set up. At the same time, challenger and possibly recreational teams also
operate in the same age groups, depending on the amount and the skill level of players. In
Finland, teams within the club have their own organization and budget. Both HJK’s and
JJK’s missions clearly articulate the goal to offer possibilities to players at all levels (HJK,
2015; JJK, n.a.). At some clubs, so-called B and A juniors (ages 17–19) do not form part of
the youth club and instead belong to the organization managing the adult first team. In
addition to the aforementioned activities, cooperation with schools has become common in
the form of after-school activities in the afternoon for pupils.
The differences between the two countries can also be seen in the role academies play. In
Finland, the concept of an academy is understood in two different ways. The first concept is
exemplified in an expert organization such as the Sami Hyppiä Academy, a centralized
football academy established in Eerikkilä, Finland in 2010 by the Football Association of
Finland. Named after the former Finnish international and FC Liverpool player Sami Hyppiä,
the academy has provided tools for following player development (ages 10–13) as well as
courses for coaches for about 20 top youth clubs in two-year cycles. For the 2015–17 period,
the operation has been further expanded for players aged 14–16. The academy explains: ‘The
role of the academy is to develop Finnish football towards the international top level together
with the Finnish football community and other partners’ (Sami Hyypiä Akatemia, n.a.). In the
Finnish context, the second concept of the academy refers to a comprehensive service
provided to young athletes of various sport disciplines, which consists of support for
combining studying and top-level sport as well as good facilities for practicing and coaching
at the place of studies. These academies are regional and operate in cooperation with local
schools, sport clubs and sport federations (K-S URA, 2015). However, according to
practitioners in local sport clubs, the operation of academies has not yet become very visible
in football.
In Hungary, an academy is understood as a different concept in the context of youth football.
There top clubs have to qualify for an academy licence from the Football Federation and they
themselves operate as academies. This process includes certain requirements that clubs need
to fulfil related, for instance, to education, meaning that many players attend boarding school
(Hungarian Football Federation, 2012). Academies operate with one team per age group with
a limited number of players between the ages of 14 and 19. However, younger age groups
may include two teams, typically called first and second teams. This trend concerning the
number of teams in elite youth clubs is similar in the so-called core countries like Germany
(Hieronymus, 2009). Hungarian clubs often have a network of partner ‘feeder’ clubs and
recruitment systems that enables player movement and talent identification. With regards to
the beginning of the player pathway in Hungary, there may be daycare football provided for
children, but it is less organized compared to what is organized in Finland.
The 2004 Sport Act allowed Hungarian clubs to choose from a number of legal forms. In
addition to the traditional form of sport clubs, these forms include sport foundations, non-
profit limited companies and limited companies. (Perényi & Bodnár, 2015) Related to the
focus of sport clubs in general, it is argued that by ‘maintaining the clear competition sport
profile, clubs do not serve the expansion of sport participants in the country’ (ibid, 15).
The differences presented above in providing activities shape other dimensions of club
functions, such as communication with members and with the external environment via
websites. According to the executive manager of HJK Helsinki, the club tries to find a
balance between news on competitive activities and other items of interest on their website.
In contrast, when browsing, for instance, Ferencvaros’s website, almost all articles report on
football results. It seems that reporting on youth sport in the media in general is rather
different between the countries, with more focus in Hungary on competition.
Second, the various sources of income available for top-level youth football clubs are
demonstrated in order of importance in Table 2. Again, a distinct concept of youth elite sport
may be identified in the two countries.
Table 2. Main sources of income for elite youth football clubs in the 2010s
Payments by players’ parents are by far the most important source of income in Finnish youth
football. Together with the traditional ‘association logic’ of civic sport clubs, Finnish youth
clubs increasingly organize activities according to ‘consumer logic’, such as tournaments and
camps. Different dimensions that indicate the emerging consumer logic include the flexible
opportunity to participate, the lack of involvement in the activities of the club and the
expectation of service quality for the fee paid (Van der Roest, 2015, 5). For instance, HJK has
a service manager nowadays, which implies a growing market-oriented approach. Other
relevant resources are accessible for Finnish clubs via different schemes of the Football
Association and the Ministry of Education and Culture. These include financial support for
hiring professionals in the coaching and administration sections of the sport clubs.
In Hungary, ‘the importance of membership fees and local revenues representing personal
commitment became marginal’ during the state socialist era from 1945 to 1989 (Perényi &
Bodnár, 2015), because sport was state financed at every level. After the transition started
from a state socialist regime in 1989–90, parents increasingly ended up bearing the costs of
participation in sport activities. In 2011, the societal subsystem of sport was restructured and
new forms of funding appeared. A corporate tax benefit scheme, known as TAO, was
introduced, which is available to the five biggest team sports. Clubs can apply for costs of
competition and travel for youth players within the TAO framework. (Perényi & Bodnár,
2015). TAO may be used for youth activities, personnel and investment in sport infrastructure
(European Commission, 2011, 3). In addition, another scheme, called the simplified
entrepreneurial tax and contribution regime (EKHO) came into force for facilitating the
employment of sport professionals, including coaches. According to the interviewees, TAO
and support from the Football Federation accounts for the greatest part of their budget in the
last couple of years.
Apart from the heterogeneity of Finnish and Hungarian youth football clubs with regards to
player pathways and the resources presented above, we can identify a number of themes
indicating homogenization processes. Most of these relate to professionalization and
globalization. For instance, importing know-how has become increasingly significant in both
countries. The Finnish FA signed a partnership with a Catalan company, Soccer Services,
which specializes in providing education on training methods (Lampinen, 2015, 4). In
Hungary, a noteworthy example is the cooperation with Double Pass, a Belgian company
benchmarking football academies. Moreover, the sport director of the Hungarian FF was
selected from Germany, who later became the temporary head coach of the men’s national
team. In addition, we may observe an increasing number of full-time and part-time coaches as
well as specialists, such as physical trainers, goalkeeper coaches and medical staff. In
addition, clubs employ heads of coaching as well as heads of sections, which are typically in
charge of three age groups. Not only the number of staff, but a more systematic way of
management may be detected. In Finland, there is a noteworthy glocal aspect resulting from
the existence of a wide range of teams; there are a variety of coaching types that are
compensated in different ways. Apart from the part-time and full-time coaches, the
significance of parents and other volunteers who are involved in various roles for little to no
compensation is still enormous. In contrast, carrying out professional work such as coaching
as a volunteer is not very common in Hungary (Perényi & Bodnár, 2015). It seems that the
spirit of volunteerism has yet to spread out into society (Foldesi, Jakabhazy, & Nagy, 2005).
Taking advantage of new technology has become more widespread in many areas. These
include online platforms for interaction and screening players with a functional movement
test. However, according to the Double Pass audit of Hungarian academies, ‘use of coaching
software and computer database is not widespread’ (2014). This is true for Finland as well,
although the Sami Hyypiä Academy does apply high-level technology. In addition, the
aforementioned professionalization and specialization processes have gone hand in hand with
an increasing network of actors with schools, other clubs and even universities. Clubs are
increasingly connected locally, regionally and globally.
To further illustrate the differences between the two ways of organizing youth football, we
may apply a conceptual framework by Koski (2010). Koski explains the notions of a sport
club through figurative examples. He ponders the role of the sport clubs as a public service,
as a production plant, as a supermarket and as a community. Public service refers to the
assumption that everyone should have the chance to participate in club activities. The
metaphor of a production plant indicates the talent development and competitive dimensions
of sport clubs. As for the supermarket, it implies the broad variety of activities sport clubs
may offer. Finally, the community metaphor indicates the civic activities of sport clubs.
When comparing Finnish and Hungarian elite youth football clubs, it is reasonable to say that
in Finnish clubs all dimensions are rather strong. Nevertheless, we may consider the
supermarket dimension to be slightly outstanding in this context nowadays. In contrast, in
Hungarian clubs the production plant dimension is considerably stronger than the others,
referring as it does to the elite development.
In order to better comprehend the discussion above, Table 3 presents an overview of the
glocal embeddedness of youth football in three intertwined levels.
Table 3. Glocal dimensions in elite youth football in the 2010s
The first level refers to the specificities of the youth football system that have been
introduced in this chapter earlier based on the analysis of our research data, including varying
player pathways and sources of income. Homogenization processes involve
professionalization, specialization and increasing competitiveness. The second level deals
with the local subsystem of sport, in which youth football is incorporated. It is characterized
by the role of the different sectors, the legal framework, the popularity of certain sports and
the role of the media. By way of illustration, there is a disproportionate role between the three
sectors in Hungarian sport with the dominance of the state (Perényi, 2013, 90), whereas in
Finland the third sector with the contribution of volunteers is still of key importance. With the
help of the analysis of the first two levels, we may better understand the third level, namely
the way Hungary and Finland are incorporated into the global order of football.
Conclusions
This study set out to answer two research questions. First, the differences of Finnish and
Hungarian elite youth football clubs in the 2010s were discussed. The findings highlight that,
in both countries, the diverse development paths of local football as well as global influences
are reflected in the organization of youth football. The concept and organization of top level
youth football are understood differently in these countries and mirror the social, economic,
cultural and political background of the given country and therefore refer to heterogenization
processes. Finland has a strong civil sector, with a long tradition of volunteerism and of
organizing football on an amateur basis, whereas Hungary has taken after the state socialist
way of organizing sport, where different levels of professionals emerged. Although the
traditions of third sector sport and civic activities are still strong in Finland, market-oriented
elements have become increasingly important in their operation, implying the appearance of
consumer logic. Income from provided services may help at least partly finance the operation
of the whole club. In spite of this, the role of volunteers in running sport clubs remains
extremely important. The operation of Finnish clubs may be comprehended as a type of
supermarket, offering some kind of activities to all levels of participants. The main financial
resources are provided by the parents. There are certain tensions and conflicts resulting from
this system in which increasing costs of participation, the demand for more professional
operation as well as talent development appear in third sector organizations.
Contrary to Finnish elite youth clubs, Hungarian ones focus solely on elite player
development and operate as production plants. This approach relates to the history and
traditions of top-level sport. With sport becoming a strategic branch by decision of the
current political platform in 2010, a considerable amount of resources opened up for sport
clubs via simplified taxation for football experts and coaches as well as tax benefit schemes
for the support of youth clubs. This present context may offer the country the possibility to
break away from its peripheral status, but changes in the political platform may endanger
even the basic operation of the football clubs. In addition, the expanded involvement of the
state may hinder the civil sphere from finding its independence and self-maintenance
(Perényi, 2013, 97). A range of homogenization processes can also be detected, including
professionalization of both administrative and coaching staff, substantial importation of
knowledge as well as an expanding local and international social network and integration.
The second research question in this study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the
findings from the first research question. Therefore, a framework of three intertwined levels
was created to interpret the glocal environment of youth football clubs’ operation, including
homogenization and heterogenization processes. The first level consisted of specificities of
the youth systems in each country; the second level addressed football in the subsystem of
sports; and the third level considered Finnish and Hungarian football in the global football
system.
Although both countries may be considered peripheral countries in football based on their
recent international performance with Hungary occupying position 54, and Finland position
55 on average at FIFA men’s ranking since its creation in 1993 (FIFA 2016), the results of
this study indicate that they have been increasingly integrated into the global football system.
At the same time, youth football fulfils an important role in these sport and youth cultures
with football being the most practiced and most popular sport in Hungary, and the most
practiced team sport in Finland. However, it is suggested that it is highly challenging for
these countries to compete on the global market of football. This article may provide a
framework for future quantitative studies, which would enable to measure the effectiveness
of the youth models introduced above, and could link them to the health status in society or
levels of physical activities in the examined countries. In this regard this article may also be
considered as a pilot study. In addition, further work could be carried out on youth football
with a more developmental perspective as well as on comparing the operation of clubs from
peripheral and core football countries.
Funding
This work was funded by the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences of the University of
Jyväskylä, and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation.
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Corresponding author: Szeróvay, Mihály, PhD student, Department of Sport Sciences,
University of Jyväskylä, Finland, mihaly.szerovay@jyu.fi, +358 44 015 5665
... To meet growing expectations that they might provide solutions to a range of societal problems, European sport clubs have been driven to move beyond their traditional, more straightforward roles as volunteer organisations . As a result, these clubs now differentiate their activities and cooperate with a growing variety of stakeholders including schools as well as sport providers in the private sector Szerovay, Perényi, and Itkonen 2016). The coexistence of traditional amateur ideals and emerging commercial interests has created tensions (Stenling and Fahlén 2009), helping to shape relationships within sport clubs (Van der Roest 2016). ...
... Studies on Finnish sport clubs carried out to date have relied on two main perspectives: First, research conducted with a primarily quantitative focus, emphasising the organisational effectiveness of clubs (e.g., Heinilä 1989;Koski 2000;Koski and Mäenpää 2018); second, research that employs qualitative, historical-sociological approaches, with case studies of a small number of clubs (e.g. , Itkonen 1991;1996;Itkonen and Nevala 2012;Szerovay, Perényi, and Itkonen 2016). In addition, there are descriptive research reports (e,g., Mäenpää and Korkatti 2012). ...
... The interview guide covered the following: the role of the interviewee; the range of roles in the club; embeddedness in the local environment; publicity; resources; the goals of the club; sporting activities; competitiveness and coaching. These areas are based on Itkonen's (1991) and Szerovay, Perényi, and Itkonen's (2016) framework, in which the main aspects of the changing operations of sport clubs were explored. The interview guide was moderately structured (Wengraf 2001), which enabled the comparison of data across different clubs. ...
Article
Full-text available
This research, which draws upon the new institutionalist approach, investigates the changing dominant logics of voluntary sport clubs in Finland. Data were collected by conducting 41 semi-structured expert interviews with sport clubs and obtaining club documents. Results reveal a widening range of roles, networks, and participant pathways, as well as an increasingly formalised operation and diversified language use. As a result, many clubs have experienced challenges in maintaining their legitimacy when operating in new domains that diverge from their traditional operations. The findings reflect growing expectations placed upon sport clubs and their shifting roles across the public, private and third sectors. Further, it is argued that understanding the logics of all three sectors have become necessary in order for sport clubs to run successfully. The findings will be of interest to federations, institutes providing tertiary education, as well as to clubs that are in the process of refining their profile.
... age of 18 (Mononen et al. 2016) • Shifting focus of operation -> from competitive sport to a wider perspective (Koski 2012;Koski & Mäenpää 2018) • Amount of full-time professionals growing 5-10% annually (Mäenpää & Korkatti 2012) • Increasing significance of the private sport sector (Laine & Vehmas 2017) • A shift towards 'consumer logic' (Van der Roest 2015;Szerovay, Perényi & Itkonen 2016) • Environmental issues / Ethical considerations (Ilmanen 2015) • The results reflect a shift in the logic of the sport club field -multiple logics can be identified (Stenling & Fahlen 2009;Scott 2014) • Clubs with different profile and in geographical location have followed diverse pathways ...
Presentation
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The aim of this presentation is to gain more understanding about the changing field of voluntary sport clubs in Finland in the 2010s. More specifically, this paper focuses on the shift in the utilization of various physical and virtual spaces by sport clubs. The following research question is addressed: In what way has the use of spaces by sport clubs changed?
... • Four out of five Finnish young people participate in sports club's activities before their 19th birthday (Koski & Tähtinen 2005) • The focus of operation has shifted from competitive sport to a wider perspective (Koski 2012) • The number of full-time professionals has grown 5-10 % annually (Mäenpää & Korkatti 2012) • Growing cost of participation in physical activities (Puronaho 2014) • A shift towards 'consumer logic' has taken place (Szerovay, Perényi & Itkonen 2016) ...
Presentation
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This paper aims to increase the understanding of the changing field of Finnish voluntary sport clubs in the 2010s. More specifically, it traces developments at two levels: (1) the organizational field level and the (2) operational level of sport clubs.
Chapter
The social functions of sports clubs were influenced by the changes in sports realised as part of the centrally driven policy efforts to develop sports since 2010. Along these and other changes that Hungarian sports went through before, sports clubs remained the traditional and basic units of the Hungarian sports sector even today. Their role in providing sporting opportunities for the public cannot be underestimated. Sports clubs, however, went through a professionalisation process as well, their daily operation became more business-like, and growth of paid personnel was noticeable. In this chapter, the four functions of sports clubs treated in this book such as health promotion, social integration, democracy and voluntary work are discussed.
Research
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Research Review to Finnish Sport Policy Report. Read more: http://www.liikuntaneuvosto.fi/files/613/tutkimuskatsaus_liikuntapoliittiseen_selontekoon_2018-4-digi.pdf
Thesis
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The aim of this study is to increase understanding of football’s global and local contexts. More specifically, the development paths of Finnish and Hungarian football are explored and compared in four research articles from different perspectives within a global framework. These viewpoints, in addition to a historical-sociological overview in the article I, cover closely interrelated phenomena observable in the landscape of top-level football: the organization of elite youth football, the professionalization of players and the development of football stadiums. The main research question of the study is as follows: In what way have glocal interactions in men’s football shaped the development paths of less developed football countries such as Finland and Hungary? The theoretical framework is formulated around the globalization of foot-ball within the social sciences of sport. The main approaches applied are fig-urational sociology and the concept of the duality of glocality. The research data consisted of thirty-six semi-structured expert interviews with Finnish and Hun-garian football practitioners, media and club documents and data from obser-vation. The data were transcribed, coded and themed according to the research questions of each article. The results suggest that the player pathways and the financing of elite youth clubs differ considerably in the two settings. In the 2010s, for example, the main source of income for Finnish clubs is provided by households. On the other hand, Hungarian clubs earn the majority of their revenues through a cor-porate tax scheme and support from the Hungarian Football Federation. Simul-taneously, professionalization, growing amount of full-time coaches and ex-panding social networks are typical in both countries and suggest homogeniza-tion processes at work. Since the 1980s, football players in Finland have transi-tioned from amateur status into different levels of semi-professionals whereas in Hungary the movement has been from hidden professionals to professionals. The development of players’ unions has mirrored the professionalization of players. However, in neither of the countries have football players achieved the status of regular employees to date. Regarding football stadiums in the 2000s, international and national governing bodies have strengthened their control over the different aspects of stadiums, indicating increasing standardization. Importing knowledge, increasing specialization and the appearance of com-mercial elements have been typical trends in both countries. On the other hand, the size of the facilities and the types of playing surfaces have been adjusted to the given football environment. In addition, facility development and stadium management solutions have differed in the two countries. The findings indicate that the interactions of local as well as global forces are reflected in the development paths of football. This means that the diverse roots and routes of football mirror the social, economic, cultural and political background of the given country. In Finland, it was a strong civil society and the amateur origins of football, while in Hungary it was the state socialist past and the strong national status of football. At the same time, however, both countries have been increasingly integrated into the global football system. Football practitioners can benefit from the understanding gained by discussing what the concepts of, for example, youth football club, football academy and profes-sional player represent in different localities. Further practical applications are provided by exploring the increasing commercialization of football as well as the ways of acquiring knowledge in the various segments of the sport. Keywords: football, globalization, glocalization, youth football club, professionalization, football stadium, Finland, Hungary
Chapter
The aim of this article is to introduce the evolution of the private sport sector in Hungary. First, taking a historical viewpoint into account, the emergence of the private sport sector will be sketched from the 1800s to date. It is reasonable to say that with some exceptional periods such as the state socialist era, the private sport sector in Hungary has always been present, but its scope and forms of function have been adapted to the current social, political, and economic environments. Second, statistical data will be presented to show the structure and volume of the private sport sector using data from 2013. Third, the ‘development path’ of sport acts, which reflects the professionalization and commercialization processes in sport, will be demonstrated. Fourth, taking a global perspective, an example on football will be used to highlight the key features in the development of professional sport. The attributes of football academies, football stadium development projects and the contemporary way of stadium management will also be introduced. It can be concluded, that the private sector in Hungarian sport has emerged relatively early, dating back to the beginning of the 1800s. Its development, however, was fragmented due to the political and economic transitions storming through the national, European and global historical scenes. It is reasonable to say that the private sector in Hungarian sport has evolved through three main pathways: (1) in segments that were not covered by the state and civil sectors, (2) in gaps that were created by the reduction of municipality activities followed by outsourcing, and (3) in the field of professional sport, that has been shaped by the interaction of global and local/national processes.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to increase the understanding of the global and local contexts in football by finding out what social, cultural and economic dimensions seem to characterize ‘periphery’ football. This study applies figurational sociological perspective, which is applicable to the research on globalization processes and sport. The sources utilized are publications on the history and sociology of football as well as interviews with football practitioners. First, a theoretical framework of the global football figuration is advanced. Second, applying the constructed framework, the concept of periphery football country is discussed. It was found in accordance with previous research that instead of the rigid conceptualization of peripheral football, the various developmental patterns of countries should be studied. Third, the diverse development paths of Finnish and Hungarian football are analysed and compared. It is suggested that in spite of being peripheral, both countries have been increasingly integrated into the global football figuration
Article
Full-text available
Post-transformational Trends in Hungarian Sport (1995-2004) The radical political and economic changes of 1989-1990 in Hungary affected all societal subsystems. In sport there was neither revolution from below nor relevant reforms from above prior to the regime change. The aim of this paper is to present the further development that are the post-transformational trends in Hungarian sport. The topic is approached from modernization perspectives. The information for the study was gained by various methods, such as analysis of documents, in-depth interviews, and participant observation. The results are analysed by three major dimensions: over-politicization, re-centralization, and paternalism. The findings show that the changes in sport were undergone in a very controversial manner, they were rather incremental than discontinuous. Neither a modernized sport model nor a national sport strategy on the basis of which a new model should have been built was founded. In Hungarian sport there seems to be an aversion and resistance to modernization. In conclusion the author states that Hungarian sport won a few battles, but it lost the war. A more democratic and a truly modern turnaround in the institution of sport is still expected. The transformation of Hungarian sport is continuing.
Chapter
Based on the main political and historical changes in Hungarian society, which fundamentally restructured the economic, political and social composition of the country, such as World War II and the pluralistic changes in 1989–1990, the development of sports clubs in Hungary can be divided into the following three periods: first, the era before World War II (Bodnár and Perényi 2012), second, the state socialist era between 1945 and 1989 and third, the new democratic transition period since 1989–1990 (Földesi and Egressy 2005). Through a socio-historical analysis this chapter introduces the meanings, roles and importance given to sport, as well as how this formulated the position of sport clubs in the Hungarian sport system. It is in the characteristics of the former state-socialist countries that the pace and direction of their development differ from those of the Western European countries. Regardless of the different sporting practices in Western Europe, which were also models for implementation in Eastern and Central Europe, their historic difference was deeply ingrained in the foundation of their sporting culture and shaped their sporting practices in a special way. Before World War II, these countries were neither at such a level of development, nor did they have effective organisations in place. Following the war, political notions were strong; those influences formed the mentioned special character of sport also in Hungary. This underlines the reason for a socio-historical approach when introducing the role of sport clubs in policy and society, and gives an answer to the question of why sport clubs exist, how important sport clubs are for society and what contributions they make to local communities.
Article
This paper develops our prior work to examine how glocalization may be applied to examine Asian sport. We begin by discussing the different usages of glocalization in social science, and the role of Asian scholars in developing and applying the term. We set out our sociocultural understanding of glocalization, notably drawing on Robertson's work and our subsequent conception of the "duality of glocality". We examine critically the arguments of Ritzer and Connell on glocalization and globalization more generally. We consider in detail how the study of glocalization processes in Asia may be most fruitfully developed with reference to four fields of research inquiry. We conclude by discussing the connection of glocalization theory to debates on localism and localization, civilizations, and multiple modernities.
Book
This book presents an up-to-date portrait of the characteristics of sport clubs in various European countries and their role in society and the national sport system. Furthermore, it offers a cross-national comparative perspective of sport clubs in twenty European countries. Containing both empirical data and information on the political and historical backgrounds of sport clubs, the book is organized in three parts. First, the authors provide an overview of the theoretical approach of the book and a description of the framework used for the country chapters. Second, the country chapters, written by experts within the field, provide a systematic overview of the available information on sport clubs in each country. These chapters are structured to answer the following questions: (1) What is the position of sport clubs within the national sport structure? (2) Which role do they fulfil in policy and society? (3) What are their basic characteristics and what factors influence the development of sport clubs? The book is concluded with a systematic comparison of the participating countries with the purpose of forging a clear link between the functioning of policy systems, observed problems, and possible solutions, and with a future research agenda on sport clubs. In an era of increased collaboration between European states, sport provides a natural vehicle through which to compare changes in culture, economics, and policy across nations. Sport Clubs in Europe will appeal to scholars of nonprofit management, sports management and sports sociology as well as administrators and policy makers in the international sports community.
Article
Professional football clubs are service enterprises engaged in the business of performance, entertainment and financial profit. Developing young players may reap both sporting and financial rewards to clubs, players and football agents. This paper explores the organizational structure and working practices of professional football clubs concerning young player development. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with heads of youth development within elite clubs (n =26) across five European countries. The study reveals the presence of organizational homogenization within formal youth structures across Europe. Developing players for first team, player's personal development and financial profit were predominant aims of all youth programmes. Operational differences included roles, responsibility, youth to professional transitions and the dominant presence of a club orientation towards player development (n=22). Lack of proximity and formal communication between youth and professional environments, regardless of structure, led to staff dissatisfaction and appeared to hinder the coherent progression of young players into the professional environment.
Article
Abstract in English. Thesis (licentiate)--Joensuun yliopisto, 1991. Includes bibliographical references (p. 198-207).
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