Football clubs and financial crimes in Greece

Purpose The purpose of the current article is to provide an account of the financial crimes that are committed within the football clubs in Greece. Design/methodology/approach First, ethnographic research with two football clubs in Greece was conducted. Additional information on the issues at stake was obtained through interviews with informed actors from the realm of Greek football. Moreover, the telephone conversations that were available as the result of wiretapping by the Greek National Intelligence Agency, in relation to the latest football match-fixing scandal (2011) were used. Finally, published media sources were used. These provided information not only on the process behind financial crimes within football clubs but also on the key actors involved. Findings A number of financial (and finance-related) crimes committed within football clubs were identified in the study. These include: ticket “tricks”, fake tax certificates, crimes related to the players’ salary payments, owing money, money laundering and match-fixing. Issues around financial crimes within football clubs must be located within the overall football-related context in the country, which is, of course, an extension of the general financial, entrepreneurial and political landscape in the country. Originality/value This is the first article on football clubs and financial crimes in Greece. Although this is a case study from Greece, it constitutes a potential template for research on an international level. By using the case of football and football clubs in Greece, this article adds to understandings of the complexity of the broader motivational context of financial crime.