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Manchester United FC: Continuing Success but at What Cost? Case Study


Introduction

Based in old Trafford, Manchester United is one of the leading and well renowned football clubs not only in the UK but also in the world. The club was initiated in 1878. It then had the name Newton Health before changing to its current brand name – Manchester United in 1902.

It was one of the founding members of the premier league back in 1992. Since 1938, Manchester United has always played the top division in English soccer apart from seasons of 1974 and 1975. The club has also recorded outstanding average attendance compared to all other English football clubs.

Compared to any other organisation, soccer clubs are unique since they are subjected to various market forces and dynamics that act as threats to their performance and hence success. Success may be measured from different paradigms depending on the industry in which an organisation is established.

For football clubs, success may be measured from the number of wins of the club in the tournaments. Apparently, such success is also correlated to financial success. The success of Manchester United is owed to the exemplary management of Alex Ferguson.

Given the competitive nature of the football club business, Manchester United stands out as an ample example of analysing the success of organisations.

Manchester United has successfully managed to place its brand. The club is the reining champion in the European and English champions. It won 2007-2008 UEFA champions league and 2007 -2008 premier league coupled with 2008 FIFA world cup.

Indeed, Manchester has won enormous numbers of world football honours since when Alex Ferguson was appointed the manager in 1986. For instance, the club won the European cup making it the first football club to take home the cup when it beat Benfica 4-1 in 1968.

It later won the same cup in 1999 for the second time and in 2008 for the third time. Furthermore, the club has also kept the world record having won the most FA cup titles.

From financial contexts, the club is also immensely successful. As from 1990s, Manchester United has gone down the history as the richest club of the English premier league. However, Liverpool may dispute this argument.

The club also generates the largest amount of the revenues among all the clubs taking part in the European cup and English premier leagues. Such an enormous success of an organisation does not come easily: there is always an accompanying cost.

Considering Manchester United as the case study, the paper analyses the roles of CSR in the success of an organisation. However, before this is done background information is provided by discussing the success of Manchester United from both the contexts of tournament wins and financial performance.

The Case Study Description

Within the whole of Europe, Manchester United stands the third club just behind Barcelona and Real Madrid from the contexts of turnover.

Apart from the recent past (2008) wining in the European champions’ league, Manchester United has also managed to get to European champions final in 2008. On the other hand, with regard to Pyle (2010), “…the financial position of the club remains precarious despite its success on the football field” (p.601).

This argument is significant by appreciating the fact that, in 2009, Manchester United football club made revenues amounting to 278.5 million pounds. The club also reported, “Increased profits (before interests and taxation) to the tune of 90.3 m million pounds (up 13.6 percent)” (Pyle 2010, p.601).

Much of this profit was acquired through the sale of players (80.7 million pounds). The financial success of the Manchester United is outstanding upon comparing this profit to that of the red football limited.

In this end, Pyle (2010) argues, “red football limited (the parent company of MUFC owned by the Glazer family) reported a profit of by 6.4 million pounds due to interest payments of 68.5 million pounds paid on the erroneous debt incurred to purchase the club” (p.601).

The support of Manchester United across the globe is also incredible and a contributing factor to the success of the club. However, this does not imply that the English premier league clubs are not open to criticism over how they handle their financial matters.

For instance, Pyle (2010) reckons, “many fans are unhappy about the way English premier league football clubs are developing into multinational businesses with global brands, aggressive marketing, and foreign owners (some of dubious reputations)” (p.601).

Indeed, some clubs have gone on record to have spent a lot of money often leading the clubs to experience large debts often exceeding levels that are justifiable by the turnovers that are made by the clubs.

The hefty spending is normally justified by the people who fund the clubs. This case makes commentators on the future performance of the football clubs worried that some of the billionaires who fund the clubs may get bored at some point to the extent of considering withdrawing their support.

The repercussion for this attempt would plunge the clubs to large financial debts that would often make business impossible. The main question that remains is whether Manchester United would be able to ensure that its entire stakeholders would be satisfied should such a situation occur.

Amid being faced by the above interrogative, the brand of the Manchester United remains one of the most well built among the football clubs playing the English premier league. In fact, “the basis of Manchester United’s business success and global brand is rooted in the club’s history and traditions” (Pyle 2010, p.601).

Since the first win of the European cup, in the time of Sir Matt, the company grew from small to a public limited company. At this time the chairman of the company, Martin Edwards, principally focused on handling the challenge of hiking funds for helping the company to improve and maintain its success in the pitch.

An effort was made to raise funds for attracting new top players. In 1991, “the club was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of 40 million pounds” (Pyle 2010, p.602).

This move was strategic for the success of Manchester United since, in 1994 through 1997, the company was able to have an accumulate share sales amounting to 71 million pounds.

In the effort to ensure that Manchester United remained a respected club, in 2002, Martin Edwards stepped down to pave way for Sir Roy to take over the leadership of the plc.

In 1991, when Manchester United was placed on flotation, there was minimal number of companies that had acquired a structure similar to that of plc. Therefore, the move was incredibly disputable though it attracted enormous controversies.

For instance, Pyle (2010) quote sir Ferguson reckoning, “when the plc started, there were grave doubts about it – I had them myself – but I think the supporters came round” (p.601). Indeed, the success of the club was looming. Manchester United had even overtaken Liverpool.

Therefore, this move had little impacts on the growth and success of the company. Hence, worries accompanied by controversies were well resolved.

Operating as a plc, an organisation seeks to expand its clientele. Manchester United embarked on a mission to seek out for global presence. This strategic goal resorted to the recruitment of Peter Keyon in 1997 “due to his marketing and branding experience” (Pyle 2010, p.602).

His experience was vital in helping the company to build a business interest that had a global feel. Through the effort of Peter Keyon, “sales of replica kits and all manner of club-related gifts continued to expand quickly with its merchandising success becoming the bench mark for the industry” (Pyle 2010, p.602).

Consequently, Manchester United ended up being a brand that is known by almost everybody across the globe. However, the contribution of Peter Keyon in enhancing the success of Manchester United attracted the attention of rivals (Chelsea) who offered him a competitive package besides subsequently getting him out of Manchester United.

Nevertheless, this did not deter the continued success of the plc since his deputy Roman Abramovich took over. He has been incredibly instrumental in the continued growth of the company.

Plcs have numerous obligations to achieve on behalf of the owners. On one hand, for the case of Manchester United, “shareholders demanded profits although some shares were held by supporters where the vast majority were owned by financial institutions, which were looking for returns on their investments” (Pyle 2010, pp.602-3).

On the other hand, apart from the owners of a plc, it is vital that a company seeks to achieve its success through operating and behaving in a socially corporate manner.

To achieve these goals, and to help in building further on the brand image of football clubs, the clubs have always welcomed the interest of media people to get into deals with them.

For instance, according to Pyle (2010), Manchester United signed a deal with America Online Corporation biding the two organisations between 2010/11 to 2014/15 worth 80 million pounds (p.603).

Manchester United has done a great deal of investments in sporting facilities and other social amenities. All these have gone into increasing the size of the club in terms of increasing the revenues generated through fees levied on sporting facilities.

However, amid the increased revenues, Manchester United’s financial structures attract an immense alarm. It has been experiencing rising debts. Due to this reason, “Glazers converted 500 million pounds of debt into bonds, which do not mature until 2017” (Pyle 2010, p.604).

Although it was an incredible financial relief to the club, these bonds will attract an interest of 45 million pounds, which will have to be paid in 2017. Now, it sounds plausible to question the sustainability of the Manchester United model for doing business.

Would it enable the club to have continued growth in the future? Should the club develop new a mechanism of developing further its brand? If so, can social corporate responsibility aid in enhancing better and sustained growth of the club in the future?

SWOT and PESTEL Analysis of Manchester United

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis seeks to reveal the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and the threats faced by an organisation in its normal business operations.

The idea for doing this is based on the argument that when these elements are clear, it becomes possible for the management of the organisation in question to concentrate on the strengths and opportunities.

This strategy enhances its performance while ensuring that its takes appropriate strategies to ensure that the weaknesses and threats are mitigated in the effort to attain optimality of the performance of the organisation.

Essentially, SWOT analysis entangles strategic planning approach for evaluating the strengths, limitations, and opportunities coupled with threats that business establishment encounters (Hill & Westbrook 2006, p.47). Strengths are the traits that enable an organisation to have an advantage in comparison to other organisations.

One of the strengths of Manchester United is that it is has managed to build a highly recognised brand across the globe. The club has incredible marketing strategies coupled with merchandising practices that are of high quality.

Manchester United stands as one of the richest football clubs with a football stadium (Trafford) having the highest capacity (75,000). Large numbers of sponsors including AON, Nike, Airtel, Vodafone, AIG, and others also support the club.

Although Manchester United has incredible strengths that have made it remain competitive in the UK’s football market, it has some weaknesses. Weaknesses or the limitations are the traits of an organisation that place it at a disadvantage in comparison with other organisations in the same industry (Hill & Westbrook 2006, p.47).

One of the subtle weaknesses of Manchester United is attributed to the fact that the club faces financial challenges. It also operates in a saturated market.

Opportunities are the existing external chances, which while utilised make an organisation improve its performance (Hill & Westbrook 2006, p.49).

One of the opportunities for Manchester United is the possibility of tapping fans from all across the globe including regions such as the USA, India, and China. Additionally, brand visibility and advertising can aid in building brand equity.

Threats are the external chances that impair the performance of an organisation (Hill & Westbrook 2006, p.49). One of the threats of Manchester United is the external competitive market forces in which other clubs purchase many of the good players.

There are also instances in which the management encounters conflicts with the players. Additionally, expensive transfers of players make Manchester United experience financial debts.

PESTLE Analysis

A number of factors influence the decisions of managers of any organisation. From the PESTEL organisational analysis approach, these factors are political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal (Gerry, Kevan & Whittington 2005, p.105).

For the case of Manchester United, the political environment affects the operations of the club via taxing policies since the club must pay taxes to the government. The management must also comply with environmental regulations, tariffs, and employment laws established within the UK.

From the perspective of economic factors, the operational economic environment of the Manchester United is characterised by fluctuations. These fluctuations create barriers to the margin of profits that the club can reinvest in growth and or channelling to CSR.

Social factors act as an immense success factor of the club because spectators, players, and the staffs of Manchester United are promised compliance to safety standards hence enhancing the security of all stakeholders attending the Manchester United matches at the club’s facilities. This provision is critical in retaining and attracting new clients.

In terms of technology, Manchester United deploys the internet to accomplish tasks such as booking for seats in the stadium. Manchester United is also incredibly concerned about its environmental impacts especially accruing from inappropriate disposal of materials that wrap the consumables used by fans during the matches.

Various legal provisions that regulate the manner of conducting business also bind an organisation. Thus, Manchester United is bound by all legal provisions that control and monitor operations of plc applicable in the UK.

Summary of Scholarly Articles

Many organisations look for mechanisms of enhancing their performance. One of such methodologies is by becoming socially responsible.

Challenged by the problems of how an organisation may increase its performance by being socially responsible, Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) conduced a “qualitative study of the legal, ethical, and moral statements available on the websites of Forbes Magazine’s top 50 U.S. and top 50 multinational firms of non-U.S” (p.175).

Analysis was conducted “within the context of stakeholder theory” (Snider, Hill, & Martin 2003, p.175). The authors cite business scandal in America such as the Tyco, WorldCom, and Enron as among the major drawbacks of development and building investor’s confidence.

They further postulate that these scandals may have an immense contributor to the economic down turn that was experienced in 2009 and 2011 in America. The impacts of this down turn on their full thresh hold were further spread into other regions of the world.

Arguably, this led to what became the global financial crisis. In this end, Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) argue, “in the aftermath of these egregious acts, the business community should be rethinking its responsibilities to the various publics concerned with its operations” (p.176).

This means that organisations that were caught up in engagement on fraudulent activities never considered moral and ethical considerations of their behaviour.

Corporate social responsibility is anchored on the pillars of taking into perspectives the impacts of any organisational decision on the stakeholders and all interest groups in the performance of an organisation.

This case implies that any course of action adopted by any organisation should not compromise or rather place the stakeholders and the organisational interest groups at a disadvantage.

Hence, it is critical that ethical behaviour be strongly embedded in all operations of public limited companies. Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) concur with this line of argument by further reckoning, “the public is focused now more than ever on what firms are saying about their corporate social responsibility” (p.176).

Soccer organisation encompasses some of the organisations where the stakeholders and other interest groups’ concerns on the performance of an organisation need to be proactively addressed and managed for continued operation of the organisation.

The main question is what the central significance of social corporate responsibility in success of organisations is.

Social corporate responsibility defines the obligations that an organisation has on the communities and the larger society. Compliance to principles of corporate responsibility requires an organisation to commit its resources to fund activities that are of social benefit.

Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) admit that this attracted heavy criticisms with many researchers choosing to evaluate the question: “should companies take responsibility for social issues?” (p.176). In response to this query, Kok et al (2001), suggest, “the only social responsibility of business is to increase profits by legal means” (p. 286.).

The implication of this argument is that any investment of financial resources of an organisation should be done only to the extent that it is not detrimental to the profitability of an organisation.

However, Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) oppose this perception by asserting, “Business exists to serve the greater community as well as direct beneficiaries of the company’s operations” (p.176). Therefore, it is incorrect to presume that an organisation exists only to create profits for its owners.

However, it is crucial to note that on adoption and incorporation of the perspectives and principles of CSR into the business model of an organisation, some effort must be made to look for mechanisms of increasing profits of the organisation because CSR projects require financial resources to execute.

These resources are drawn from the profits made by an organisation within a given fiscal year.

Through the development of social responsibility culture, an organisation is capable of winning the confidence of the community living within the areas from which it is established. This way, conflict of interest is minimised- something that is critical for the success of an organisation.

This outcome is attributed to the opinion that an organisation would spend lesser financial resources in the resolution of emerging conflicts due erosions of the interests of the larger society.

To amplify this argument, an organisation is largely dependent on coexistence in harmony with the communalities living in the environment in which it is established.

In case this harmony suffers in one way or another, a peaceful habitat for the organisation to conduct its business is sacrificed in the favour of the community-organisation conflicts. Therefore, it is the duty of an organisation to ensure that such conflicts do not exist.

This goal is best achieved by ensuring that an organisation is socially corporate responsible (Snider, Hill, & Martin 2003, p.177).

The findings of the Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) research indicated that the organisations, whose websites were analysed “concentrated their attention on similar set of stakeholders and approximately the same CSR issues” (p.180).

However, there were variations in the specificity of the CSR messages carried by the websites. For instance, the authors found out that some spelt out some ethical values, which act as the framework of guiding the realisation of organisational missions on their roles in the society differently.

However, in the stipulation of the ethical issues, the firms provide “a context within, which they define their relationships with internal and external publics” (Snider, Hill & Martin 2003, p.180).

Other concerns of social corporate responsibilities in the United States’ organisations cited by Snider, Hill, and Martin are environmental policies.

Apparently, the environment forms one of the essential areas for consideration in the development of social corporate responsibility policies since most of the organisational activities often produce some negative impacts on the environment.

It is the duty of the organisation concerned to ensure that the environment is protected from these negative impacts. For this reason, Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) find, “both the U.S. and other global firms often establish comprehensive environmental policies” (p.180).

Additionally, the authors’ findings also reveal that the CSR messages that are used by various organisations studied were developed to match the needs of various stakeholders that are consistent with the concerns of the larger ecology.

A good example of this is the case of Coca Cola Company, which states, “A large part of our relationship with the world around us is our relationship with the physical world” (Snider, Hill & Martin 2003, p.180).

This means that Coca Cola Company appreciates that it cannot be able to conducts its business and attain the organisational objects without taking into consideration the impacts produced on the environment by its business activities. This case forms one of the pillars of an organisation seeking to be socially corporate responsible.

The above discussions of the roles of social corporate responsibility in the success of organisations are discussed from a general context. Consequently, it remains questionable on how the theoretical paradigms developed by Snider, Hill, and Martin (2003) are applicable to soccer clubs such as Manchester United.

In this extent, the work of Walters and Tacon (2010) becomes relevant to the extent that it presents the results of a qualitative research on the relevance of CSR with particular focus on the sporting organisations (p.556).

Since Manchester United is a good example of a well-established sporting organisation, the work of the authors is pivotal in helping to make recommendations and deductions on the roles that can be played by CSR in the enhancement of success of the soccer club.

Walters and Tacon use the stakeholder theory to explain how “CSR can inform both theoretical debates and management practices within sport organisations” (2010, p.556). The article further argues that media has an immense attention on sporting organisations.

Consequently, due to youth appeal, communication power, and mass media distributions, sporting organisations have no choice rather than implementing the initiatives of social corporate responsibility.

This argument is based on the perception that “sport CSR has a greater effect than those CSR activities in commercial organisations” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.567).

This argument makes sense upon the realisation of the evidence that sporting organisations are normally intensively inter-woven with the society, and dependent on the perceptions and affiliation of the society for their success.

Consequently, due to the close relationships between the communities and the sporting organisations, CSR is inevitable from being adopted by the organisations including Manchester United football club.

It is from this perceptive that Walters and Tacon (2010) recommend, “sport organisations, particularly the UK football clubs, need to consider addressing CSR in order to maintain or increase spectator numbers” (p.567). Indeed, a number of researches have noted CSR as influencing costumer’s consumption behaviour.

Therefore, consistent with Walters and Taco’s (2010) argument on the roles of CSR in the sporting organisations, “given that the stadium utilisation figures at the majority of professional football clubs in the UK are well below 100 per cent, it could be argued that CSR is a strategic approach needed to attract spectators” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.567).

Apparently, there exists evidence of sporting organisations that have leaped from the benefits of engaging in CSR elsewhere in the world. For instance, individual athletes in the United States have come up with various charitable organisations and foundations that fund various mitigation strategies of social problems (Paul 2002, p.25).

A good example of this case is the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which has gone down the history as funding the cancer research (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.567).

The Walters and Taco’s work seeks to articulate the stakeholder theory with CSR as applied in the sporting organisations. The authors provide evidence that stakeholder theory has been critical in enhancing sport management (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.569).

Additionally, the authors are quick to pin point that the development in the deployment of the stakeholders’ theory in enhancing football club governance has its roots in studies that focus on “stakeholder identification and stakeholder perceptions in intercollegiate athletics” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.569).

The excellence of the soccer clubs in terms of performances measures form financial success is dependent on the interest of the stakeholders in the game because stakeholders are also mainly the spectators and hence the sources of revenues. This claim perhaps explains why soccer academic literature pays central focus on the stakeholder ideas.

In fact, with regard to Morrow (2003), “the stakeholder concept has greater relevance for football clubs in relation to conventional businesses because of the particular features of certain football club stakeholders” (p. 43).

Walters and Tacon (2010) appreciate this argument but holds, “to date, much of the research in this area has either used stakeholder concepts implicitly, without making explicit reference to mainstream stakeholder theory, or has engaged openly with stakeholder concepts at a relatively underdeveloped theoretical level” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.569).

Arguably, while running a football club, the management has the obligations to the local authorities, communities, and even local populations. These obligations need not to establish conflicts with the commercial objectives of any soccer team.

For this purpose, it is critical that sporting organisations such as Manchester United become socially corporate responsible.

Walters and Tacon’s research was qualitative in nature. It drew 15 interviews form different stakeholders of the UK football industry. The selection of individuals to be interviewed was done from the perspectives that information garnered was precisely reflective of the purpose of the research.

This purpose was to “develop an in-depth contextual understanding of the phenomena that is being studied and to interpret the meaning from social situations” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.572). The interviewees were drawn from various staff members of the selected organisations including the directors, CEOs, and chairs.

The researchers had the immense belief that the information generated from these persons would be pivotal in the determination of their take on objectives coupled with the roles played by their organisations, the kind of relationships that exist between the stakeholder and the organisation, and the details of various CSR initiates that are adopted by the organisation under study.

The results of the study indicated that the “interviewees recognised the relevance to sport management of stakeholders’ ideas and issues of corporate social responsibility” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.574).

Nevertheless, this does not mean that different individuals did not have different perspectives of the roles of CSR in their organisations.

For instance, the authors found out that some officials of various soccer clubs had an optimistic commitment to the social corporate responsibility coupled with the stakeholders’ management initiatives adopted by the organisations.

On the other hand, some interviewees “expressed scepticism about the strength of this commitment” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.574).

Therefore, it is arguable that the roles of CSR in enhancing the success of soccer clubs remains fragmented depending on the perspective from which the management official of the organisations view the quests of being socially corporate responsible organisations.

It is from the basis of this argument that this paper focuses on discussing the principles of social corporate responsibility from the context of Manchester United.

Revisiting the Case Study

Considering the case study of Manchester United, focusing on social responsibility initiatives are critical in fostering the continued success of the organisation coupled with dominance of Manchester brand among many soccer fans.

From the description of the case study section, it is evident that. while operating as plc, Manchester United would have to focus its efforts in building good relationships with the stakeholders in the effort to ensure increased financial performance.

Increased financial performance means that more funds would be available at the disposal of the organisation to remunerate better the players. This would help in minimising the threat of the good players being taken by competing soccer clubs such as Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and others.

The ultimate repercussion for this is presentation of better games to the spectators and other stakeholders of the Manchester football club. Therefore, increased clientele is likely to be drawn into the playing grounds owned by Manchester United.

Hence, more revenue would continue to be generated. Arguably, this case is critical in helping the club to offset various financial challenges that the organisation encounters. Apparently, financial capability of an organisation is vital for the development of strong social corporate responsibility initiatives (Porter & Kramer 2006, p.82).

With the already developed brand dominance in the football industry, Manchester United can proactively manage to create more success through taking part in more in social related activities such as creation of more charitable foundations ran from the part of profit basket of the organisation.

This would make the stakeholders to see the organisation as not only serving the purpose of creating profits at the expense of the communities in which the organisation is established.

Indeed, according to Walters and Tacon (2010), “…recent emergence of charitable foundations to deliver social inclusion and educational based initiatives has demonstrated that football clubs can play a positive role within their communities” (p.568).

In fact, one of the competitive forces of the Manchester United (Chelsea) has embraced the concepts of CSR. With regard to Walters and Tacon (2010), this claim is evidenced and mirrored by “the trend for CSR reporting, which has made Chelsea to produce its own CSR report separate from the annual accounts” (p.568).

Arguably, Manchester United cannot drift from dedicating financial resources towards financing social corporate issues because even the governing bodies of football clubs are also recognising the relevance and benefits of being sociality corporate responsible.

For this reason, the UEFA “has developed a social responsibility partnership portfolio. It is working with a number of charity partners between 2007 and 2011 to address specific issues including racism, reconciliation, and peace, football for all, violence, health, and humanitarian aid” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.568).

This effort is boosted by commitment of 0.7 percent of the UEFA profits to fund various social projects.

The above effort by the UEFA makes it clear that football clubs would be forced by their own desires to influence positively their spectators who often come from the communities in which the organisations are established to adopt CSR initiatives.

Even though this would mean digging into the profits of the Manchester United, it is a well thought cause of action since the arising deficits may be sealed by the resulting increment in the brand loyalty from the community members and other stakeholders of the Manchester United.

The process of endeavouring to invest in social corporate social responsibility projects will often demand Manchester United to deploy the concepts of stakeholder theory developed by Walters and Tacon.

The move will be the effort to help the organisation to “illuminate key issues in sport management and or how CSR can be implemented by sport organisations through stakeholder management strategies” (Walters & Tacon 2010, p.568).

The whole idea of sporting organisation attempting to become socially corporate responsible is pegged on the argument that, by being socially corporate responsible, the friction and conflicts of interests between various organisational stakeholders such as the customers, suppliers, the owners of the organisation among others would be greased.

This step leads to a better reception of organisation coupled with the decisions reached by the managers of the leaders of the organisations.

Surely, this effort is an advantage that Manchester United cannot afford to lose bearing in mind the observations, “Glazers converted 500 million pounds of debt into bonds, which do not mature until 2017” (Pyle 2010, p.604) to help in easing the debts of the football club.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Organisations operating in the industry of sporting are highly susceptible to impacts of competitions because winning in tournaments forms the basis of determining the anticipated growth of the organisations, brand loyalty, and even the financial performance of the organisation in question.

In the paper, it was discussed that Manchester United stands as one of the sporting organisations that have managed to build and develop magnificently its brand. It has realised several wins in valid tournaments including the European cup and others.

The management of the organisation has also resulted and contributed to this exemplary performance of the organisation both in terms of game wins and financial performance.

However, based on the case study described by Pyle (2010), the paper established that Manchester United also faces various challenges financial wise.

This case often calls for the interventions of tycoons funding the club to support it through conversion of several million pounds into bonds payable at such as a period in which the organisation will have made adequate profits to pay off the bonds while remaining operational.

Based on these challenges, the paper recommends and adds an additional paradigm for fostering the performance of Manchester United. This paradigm is by focusing on strategic decisions of becoming more socially corporate responsible.

This recommendation is made in full appreciation of the reality that CSR approaches attract valid perceptions among various scholars and organisational stakeholders.

Some people see it as an additional way of reducing the profitability of an organisation while others may see it is a noble way of helping to create good reputation of an organisation.

Amid the two dimensional approaches to CSR, in sporting organisations such Manchester United, it is recommended for adoption since it is an incredible tool for helping to resolve conflicts of interests among various organisational stakeholders.

References

Gerry, J, Kevan, S, & Whittington, R 2005, Exploring corporate strategy: text and cases, Prentice Hall, London.

Hill, T & Westbrook, R 2006, ‘SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall,’ Long Range Planning, vol. 30 no. 1, pp. 46–52.

Kok, P, Weile, D, McKenna, R, & Brown, A 2001, ‘A Corporate Social Responsibility Audit within a Quality Management Framework’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 31 no. 4, pp. 285–297.

Morrow, S 2003, The people’s game? Football, finance and society, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.

Paul, P 2002, ‘Corporate Responsibility’, American Demographics, vol. 24 no. 5, pp. 24-35.

Porter, E & Kramer, R 2006, ‘Strategy and society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility’, Harvard Business Review, vol. 84 no.12, pp. 78–92.

Pyle, S 2010, Manchester United FC: Continuing Success But At What Cost?, Harvard UP, Harvard.

Snider, J, Hill, R, & Martin, D 2003, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: A View from the World’s Most Successful Firms’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 48 no. 1, pp.175-187.

Walters, G & Tacon, R 2010, ‘Corporate social responsibility in sport: Stakeholder management in the UK football industry’, Journal of Management & Organisation, vol.16 no. 4, pp. 566–586.

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"Manchester United FC: Continuing Success but at What Cost?" IvyPanda, 18 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/manchester-united-fc-continuing-success-but-at-what-cost/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Manchester United FC: Continuing Success but at What Cost?" June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/manchester-united-fc-continuing-success-but-at-what-cost/.

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