Measuring the resilience of English Premier League clubs to economic recessions

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Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has faced a number of economic shocks, including a global financial crisis. While there is ample literature on insolvency of football clubs, this does not necessarily help us gauge financial fragility to economic shocks. Clubs’ resilience to shocks is important to our understanding of the Premier League’s ability to grow and outperform other leagues in an increasingly global and competitive industry. Using Annual Reports from 1993 to 2018, this paper analyses the resilience of Premier League clubs to shocks in the wider economy. Results identify the clubs most and least financially resilient. Of the Big Six clubs, only Arsenal is considered as resilient, whilst others show weakness during economic downturns or periods of growth. Measuring economic resilience in this way has implications for our understanding of both the Premier League’s sustainability in its current form and its ability to withstand future shocks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482–499
Number of pages18
JournalSoccer & Society
Issue number4-5
Early online date4 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • English Premier League
  • football finance
  • resilience
  • economic shocks


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