Power and logics in Scottish football: the financial collapse of Rangers FC

Stephen Morrow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the implications of power imbalance and over-emphasis on commercial logic on the structure and governance of Scottish football.

An in-depth analysis of secondary sources is used to identify the logics at play in Scottish football and to explore implications of the liquidation of Rangers for the structure of the game.

Over-emphasis on commercial logic has led to power being concentrated in two clubs, Celtic and Rangers, and to other clubs and the league itself becoming financially dependent on those clubs. The collapse of Rangers thus threatened the stability of other clubs and the league. The case highlights the challenge of reconciling competing logics and the role played by previously peripheral actors in bringing about change in the field.

Research limitations/implications
The on-going nature of the case, related investigations and legal process meant that it was not possible to supplement the secondary source material with primary evidence.

Practical implications
It demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of elite contemporary football and of the challenges faced by leagues and governing bodies in accommodating logics and multiple stakeholder interests. It also highlights the need for more effective financial regulation of corporate football clubs and their officials and emphasises the importance of inclusive stakeholder governance.

It highlights the risks inherent in football business in small markets dominated by one or a few clubs. It highlights the role that previously peripheral actors can play in bringing about change within a field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-343
Number of pages19
JournalSport, Business and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2015


  • Football finance
  • Governance
  • Liquidation
  • Logics
  • Power
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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