Welcome to the fourth annual RESPONSIBALL Ranking for the 2014/2015 season.


We have assessed a club’s commitment to social responsibility (SR) - to the extent that certain indicators are communicated transparently - across three main pillars: Governance, Community, and Environment.

Download the full report, which provides complete details of our research and more charts.

The actual ranking is based on the average overall SR score of all clubs in a certain league, which is taken from the average score of the three pillars, all weighted equally. This year, we have once again chosen to assess the top leagues of the 16 qualifying nations from the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament, to compare the results with last years’ ranking.
RESPONSIBALL Ranking 2014

 

New Indicators
This year we conducted a review of the SR indicators that are used to analyse the information that football clubs communicate on their websites. The indicators were selected following a series of feedback rounds with stakeholders. Click on the images below to view our the indicators for each pillar.


Danish Frontrunners
The Superliga has topped the ranking by a clear margin of 11%, with three of its clubs featuring in the top 10. The result comes as a surprise because the country standings in the previous years’ rankings have been fairly consistent, with the Superliga finishing mid-table on all three occasions. Although the indicators have changed this year, the position of the other countries’ leagues has remained more or less in-line with previous rankings. In search of an explanation, we turned to Professor Kenneth Holm Cortsen of the Department of Sport Management & Experience Industry at the University College of Northern Denmark. See the full report for his reaction. 

Ranking Medalists
The Danish Superliga receives the gold medal this season with an SR score of 48 per cent, taking over the throne from last year’s winners, the German Bundesliga. Less of a surprise, though no less deserved, is the Dutch Eredivisie in silver medal position with 37 per cent, up from bronze position last year, and leap-frogging last year’s gold and silver medal winners, the German Bundesliga and the English Premier League, in the process. The Bundesliga finished in bronze medal position this year, with a score of 37 per cent (though 0.18 per cent lower than the Dutch Eredivisie), slightly ahead of our 2012 Ranking winners, the English Premier League, with 34 per cent.

About the research
Guidelines, from widely recognised social responsibility frameworks and standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative and ISO 20121, have been adapted to create indicators covering issues that affect football clubs, such as Health and Safety, Ticketing, Fan Work, Coaching, Procurement, and Biodiversity. These issues fall under the three main social responsibility topic areas of Governance, Community, and Environment. For detailed information, see the report.

The ranking was compiled mainly by researchers currently studying on the FIFA Master and AISTS sport masters degree programmes. They analysed the websites of every club in the top division of the 16 European football leagues – nearly 270 clubs – comparing the available information for each club with social responsibility indicators, and calculating the average for each league.

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