International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Wed. 09 January 2019

“A friendly business?” – Publication of CIES’ new book edited by author and journalist Steve Menary on the issue of friendlies in the globalised football era.

The International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) is pleased to announce the publication of the Steve Menary’s book “A friendly business? A critical evaluation of the globalisation and commercialisaton of the preseason friendly”, a unique and thorough investigation on the origins, stakeholders and current issues related to football friendlies.

Steve Menary, who was granted with a FIFA Research Scholarship for his project, analyses the development of the preseason friendly from a loosely organised series of matches played prior to the onset of competitive games into a more structured framework staged against the backdrop of the increasing globalisation of the football industry.

His book includes original research that traces the development of preseason in the English Premier League, which has led the globalisation of the club game into overseas markets through the sale of foreign TV rights.

Matches are analysed over a 10-year period to demonstrate a structural shift away from the EPL’s base in preseason as clubs seek to deterritorialize their fan base in competition with Europe’s other four major leagues in Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

The activities of the EPL in preseason are compared to La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 to demonstrate how Trans National Clubs (TNCs) in England are using these games to grow customers in an increasingly large and deterritorialized fan-base overseas.

This is done without any major engagement with local clubs. TNCs in England and the other four leading European football economies act as conquistadores in growing their brand overseas in competition with each other and other global sports, and increasingly at the expense of the game in the markets where this growth is sought.

This book seeks to understand this process, the implications for this continuing trend and to suggest an alternative to preseason that can lead to greater engagement rather than alienation.

Steve Menary is freelance journalist who covers sport and business for major media such as magazines (World Soccer, When Saturday Comes) and radio (BBC World Service). He authored five books on football and sports related issues and lectured at the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, as well as at the universities of East London, Southampton Solent and Winchester.

To order the book please click on the following link:

Menary, S., 2019: A friendly business? A critical evaluation of the globalisation and commercialisaton of the preseason friendly, Réflexions sportives Vol. 9: Neuchâtel. 140 pages, CHF 29.-, Euro 26.-

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