This book is the result of an analysis and reflection on crime risks and financial criminal activity taking place in European professional football in recent decades. Its main goal is to discuss some relevant criminological issues in relation to the financing and ownership of professional football clubs and the transfer of players. As the title suggests, the book covers both the outrageous business patterns and habits – and the associated high risk of financial crime – that have manifested themselves in this line of industry, as well as our inclination to turn a blind eye to these developments (like an ostrich with its head in the sand). Curiosity was the main instigator of this book, in terms of identifying the major problems and criminal activity in the professional football industry, grasping the motivations of those involved and understanding the societal reaction, or lack thereof, towards these problems. In the second part of the book, the author suggests some strategies that may assist in making the market of European professional football more crime-resistant. These strategies are linked to changes in the organizational culture, structure and forms of supervision and control.
Hans Nelen is Professor of Criminology at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Between 1986 and the beginning of 2001, Nelen was employed as a senior researcher and researc... More