Rising stars: competitive balance in five Asian football leagues

Daniel Plumley*, Sarthak Mondal, Rob Wilson, Girish Ramchandani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competitive balance (CB) remains a core component of sport economics literature and an important management consideration for league organisers. This paper analyses CB in the ‘big five’ Asian football leagues longitudinally between 1996/97 and 2017/18. Using recognised measures of league concentration and dominance, the results display a mixed picture in respect of CB across the five major leagues in Asian football. The Asian football market has seen positive growth during the last two decades while CB in most of the leagues examined has remained relatively stable. Some significant differences were detected in the levels of concentration between leagues. There was also some variation in terms of some leagues being dominated by a fewer number of teams. However, these two measures of CB (concentration and dominance) were not necessarily correlated with each other. In a broader governance context, questions remain over the potential for further growth in the Asian football market given the dominant market position of the European game.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Global Sport Management
Early online date22 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 22 May 2020


  • Asian football
  • competitive balance
  • concentration
  • dominance
  • Management
  • professional team sports
  • sport business

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