Public management risks in sports
Public management risks in sports
Dr.Hab., Professor I.V. Ponkin1
Doctor of Law, Associate Professor O.A. Shevchenko1
Doctor of Law, Associate Professor M.A. Lapina2
Ph.D. A.I. Ponkina1
1Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MGYuA), Moscow
2Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Keywords: sports, sport laws, sport specifics, public management in sport sector, risks, contingencies, risk management in sport sector.
Introduction. Every issue of the public management risks in the sport sector is of high interest today for sport science and sport communities due to both the special aspects of this management domain as such and to the top priority these matters have been given to in the last few years. The increased topicality of the issues is due to many reasons including the recent corruption scandals in the FIFA; the active global invasion of the US legal and political actors into affairs of formally independent international sport organizations; the growing global encroachment on the fundamental principle of sport independence on the whole with the ideologically and politically biased attempts to torpedo the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in particular; the acute problems of the international and national anti-doping control systems applied in sports etc. Public management efficiency improvement problems of the sport sector are directly dependent on these global trends and this aspect adds to the topicality of the subject matter. Moreover, the subject matter is of high interest in the context of the general problems, risks and contingencies in the public management domain .
Objective of the study was to spell out the public management risks in the sport sector.
Methodology of the study. The study applied system analysis, legal systems benchmarking and synthesis methods to spell out the key specifications and criticality classes of the risks arising in the sport sector public management process – and offered an authors’ risk classification system.
Study results and discussion. It is only natural that any sport system per se is a field of high uncertainties and contingencies – at least in some aspects – for the reason that it is the high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability of the sport product that is so attractive for the sport product consumers . Consequently, any sport sector public management system cannot but faces multiple contingencies and challenges in its policies and practices.
The risks arising in and in connection with the sport sector public management process may be grouped based on a few main grounds. First and foremost the risks will be grouped into the general risks of the public management as such and the sector-specific risks of the public management system designed for the subject sector. It should be noted that the general risks may be largely due to some specific aspects of the subject sector as well.
The sport sector public management risks arise, as a rule, on a few grounds including the following: degree of potential negative consequences for the government on the whole and the government system in particular; territorial/ geographic considerations; initial sources of the risks; the nature of the risks etc.
As far as the sport sector is concerned, special emphasis will be made on the foreign policies related risks. They come up in the context of the recent negative trends in the bilateral and multilateral government relationships and the associated risks of the ideologically and politically biased judgement unfairness, chicanery and other forms of unfair/ biased attitudes of foreign international sport event organizers to the athletes, teams and sport communities of some nations; risks of cancellation – on farfetched reasoning – of duly scheduled and agreed large-scale international sport competitions; risks of more active and broader global invasion of the notorious national legal and political actors into affairs of formally independent international and/or national sport organizations etc.
Special attention will be given to the corruption and economic crime risks in sports; and due emphasis will be made on the public management inefficiency and mismanagement risks in sports.
Subject to analysis will be also the performance risks of the sport sector public management process – associated with the government inability to attain the proclaimed and expected objectives .
Some risks may arise in the process of some political projects being approved and implemented – mostly in mass sports, amateur sports and elite sports. These are basically the risks due to and in connection with the potential failures in attaining the proclaimed objectives for a variety of reasons including, among other things, the insufficient provisioning for the project missions.
- Sport independence principle neglecting/ violation risks .
- Financial and economic risks.
The above major risks may entail further downstream risks on the whole and the social-sector risks in particular (that is the subject sector for the above mentioned political projects), plus the relevant economical risks – that are generally not that critical for the reason that the mass sports and amateur sports are generally less dependent on business than, for instance, professional sports and, hence, the government losses in case of failure of the relevant projects will unlikely be too high.
The economical risks in the sport sector public management process, in our opinion, are the highest (and potential losses are the most serious) in case of public funds being mobilized to support major international or national sport competitions. Sport infrastructure development projects are commonly recognized to be associated with a variety of specific risks including budget revision risks; technological risks (related, among other things, to the sport facility ageing/ outdating risks); and sport infrastructure damage (for a variety of reasons) risks .
Rated among the most critical risks of the sport sector public management process will be the risks of the national teams being barred from the international sport competitions in the situations when the government has already budgeted and spent certain funds and resources (both financial and human ones) in preparations to the international sport events; with the athletes being barred based on some doping-tests or relatively new/ sudden revisions of the rules of competitions, or new requirements to sport outfits/ equipment/ accessories etc.
Furthermore, in the context of the specific risks of the sport sector public management process it may be pertinent to mention the risks (mostly the business related ones) due to and in connection with the close public-private partnerships (PPP) that imply the relevant government agencies acting in cooperation with private sport actors to attain certain objectives in the sector.
Reputational risks of the sport sector public management process are generally not that frequent, albeit they are more likely to end up with serious problems for the government than the other risk classes. In view of the fact that sports nowadays are now and then used as a political instrument designed, among other things, to secure broad support of the government policies by the nation (and thereby reinforce the government legitimacy), the reputational risks of the sport sector public management process may – in case of a gross negligence/ violation of the sport-specific national interests and social needs by the government officers in charge of the relevant key subsectors – undermine the government image and support by the nation. If the reputational losses in this case are further aggravated by other more critical risks and problems – including the public management challenges in other sectors – the negative trends may result in the public management risks snowballing effect on a much large scale.
The natural calamities and manmade disasters related risks – including, among other things, the public sport assets damage risks  may include, for instance, the important sport asset damage risks that – in case of a negative scenario – may both hamper the relevant government projects and policies being implemented and pursued in the sport sector and even complicate some socially important initiatives and developments – when the relevant government-owned sport assets, for instance, are used by the local communities for the health improvement and recreation purposes.
Conclusions. Public management agencies in charge of the national sport sector have to face multiple risks of different origins and effects in their operations. Specific risks of the sport sector public management domain are largely due to both the specifics of the subject area of such management and the management activity specifics per se, i.e. the sector-specific management challenges. In view of the sport sector independence principle – that implies sports being immune of any government interference in sport affairs – a government acting in reasonably normal conditions may successfully exercise such management using a relatively short set of instruments and mechanisms than in some other sectors – as it has no need to regulate absolutely every aspect of legal relationships in the sector. In the abnormal conditions, however, the national sport sector public management system may face some new risks and even generate a variety of associating and resultant risks for other sport sector operators, management bodies and sport product consumers.
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Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The article considers the risks of public management policies and practices in sports. Every issue of the public management risks in the sport sector is of high interest today for sport science and communities due to both the special aspects of this management domain and to the top priority these matters have been given to in the last few years. The study offers a classification of the public management risks in sports on different grounds and provides rationale for the risk classification system. Overview of the public management risks for the sport sector is given including the foreign policy related risks; corruption and economic crime related risks; public management inefficiency and mismanagement risks; reputational risks; natural calamities and manmade disasters related risks – including, among other things, the public sport asset damage risks. Subject to special consideration in the article are the origins of sport-specific public management risks and a variety of infrastructural risks for the government agencies in the sport infrastructure development projects.