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Athletic Transcentral ACCA SBL Preseen – March 2024 ACCA

Explore the SBL March 2024 pre-seen on Athletic Transcentral in Kyleland’s football world, focusing on strategic, financial, and industry insights

Athletic Transcentral ACCA SBL Preseen has been released. In this article we analyse each aspect under all models.


A critical component of this preparation is the Strategic Business Leader (SBL) exam, renowned for its rigorous assessment of candidates’ abilities to integrate strategic thinking with professional expertise. Key to succeeding in the SBL exam is a thorough understanding of the pre-seen material, which, for this sitting, revolves around the intriguing case of Athletic Transcentral, a football club navigating the complexities of the sports industry.

SBL Pre-seen Webinar

Company Introduction

What Does the Company Do?

Athletic Transcentral (AT) is more than just a football club; it’s an institution that embodies the spirit and passion of football in Kyleland. Engaged in the competitive landscape of professional football, AT participates in league matches, cup fixtures, and represents Kyleland in international competitions. Beyond the pitch, the club is involved in talent development, community engagement, merchandising, and media rights management, making it a multifaceted entity in the sports industry.

Location of the Company

Located in the heart of Kyleland, a country renowned for its vibrant football culture and history, Athletic Transcentral enjoys a strategic position. This location not only provides a robust fan base but also offers significant advantages in terms of logistics, talent acquisition, and market reach.

Corporate Status and Ownership

As we explore the corporate status and ownership of Athletic Transcentral (AT), it’s crucial to understand its journey and current standing in the business landscape. This analysis is divided into two phases: Incorporation and Listing, and Founders and Ownership. These phases provide a comprehensive view of AT’s structural foundation and ownership dynamics, essential for grasping the strategic decisions and challenges the club faces.

Incorporation and Listing:

Athletic Transcentral was officially incorporated as Athletic Transcentral Co., marking a significant milestone in its journey from a community club to a structured corporate entity. This transition enabled the club to adopt a more formalized approach to governance, finance, and operations, aligning with its ambitions to compete at the highest levels of football in Kyleland and internationally.

Athletic Transcentral Co. is not publicly listed; the company is privately owned by the Clicombe family.

Founders and Ownership:

The origins of Athletic Transcentral are rooted in its founders’ vision. Although specific details about the founders are not provided, their initial values include:

  • Transparency
  • Safeguarding
  • Community
  • Conduct
  • Stakeholders
  • Environment

The founders’ ethos and values may still influence the club’s culture, identity, and strategic direction.

One member of the Clicombe family is currently chief executive, but no other member of the family is on the board or actively involved in management.

The ownership structure of Athletic Transcentral Co. is crucial for understanding its decision-making processes, financial health, and strategic flexibility. Owned by Athletic Transcentral Co., the club operates under a model where strategic decisions are closely tied to the corporate objectives of the parent entity. Whether owned by a single entity, a consortium, or a broader group of stakeholders, the ownership dynamics influence the club’s capacity to invest, innovate, and navigate the competitive landscape of football.

Capital Structure and Sources of Financing

The financial backbone of any organization lies in its capital structure and the strategies it employs to finance its operations, investments, and growth. For Athletic Transcentral (AT), understanding the evolution of its capital structure and sources of financing is key to appreciating its strategic decisions and financial health.

The past capital structure of Athletic Transcentral offers insight into its initial financing strategies and how they supported the club’s ambitions. Although not directly commented on, however, it can be inferred that initially, AT likely relied on a combination of equity investments from founders and early investors, alongside revenues generated from ticket sales, merchandise, and local sponsorships. This phase was characterized by a strong reliance on internal sources of financing and community support, reflecting the club’s grassroots origins and the need for financial prudence in its early days.

As AT grew, it might have explored additional financing options to support its expansion, including bank loans or private investments, to fund infrastructure development (e.g., stadium upgrades, training facilities) and to attract talent. This period would have been crucial for laying the financial foundations that allowed AT to compete more effectively in the football league of Kyleland.

Financial insights

Financial Performance Overview

20X1: Athletic Transcentral reported a total revenue of around \$325,000,000, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) at around \$58,000,000. The relevant earnings for Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations were around \$60,000,000.

20X2: There was a slight increase in total revenue to around \$335,000,000. However, EBITDA saw a significant decrease to around \$42,000,000. Similarly, earnings relevant for FFP regulations also dropped to around \$39,000,000.

20X3: The total revenue continued to grow modestly to \$342,000,000. Despite the increase in revenue, EBITDA experienced a considerable decline to around \$25,000,000, and earnings for FFP regulations followed the downward trend to around \$20,000,000.

Revenue by Type for 20X3

Breaking down the total revenue for 20X3, we see that the largest contributor is television rights at \$127 million, indicating the significant role of broadcasting deals in the club’s revenue stream. Sponsorship and matchday revenues each contributed \$64 million, while retail brought in \$52 million. Prize money was the smallest portion at \$35 million. The reliance on television rights underscores the importance of maintaining high performance and visibility in competitions to secure lucrative broadcasting deals.


The trend indicates that while Athletic Transcentral has managed to increase its revenue year over year, its profitability, as measured by EBITDA, has been declining. This suggests rising costs or increased depreciation and amortization, which are outpacing revenue growth. The declining earnings relevant for FFP regulations could also imply increasing expenses not directly tied to the club’s footballing operations, potentially impacting the club’s compliance with financial regulations in the sport.


Over the three-year period, Athletic Transcentral has demonstrated a consistent increase in total revenue, moving from \$325 million in 20X1 to \$342 million in 20X3. This growth trajectory is positive; however, the annual growth rate has slowed, indicating potential market saturation, increased competition, or a ceiling in the club’s current revenue-generating capabilities.


The EBITDA presents a contrasting picture to the steady revenue growth. There has been a sharp decline in EBITDA from \$58 million in 20X1 to \$25 million in 20X3. This drop could be alarming as it suggests that the club’s operational costs and capital expenditures are growing at a rate that exceeds revenue growth, eating into the club’s operating profits.

Key Observations and Implications

  • Revenue Growth
  • Declining EBITDA
  • FFP Earnings Decrease
  • The breakdown for 20X3 shows a heavy reliance on television rights, which, while lucrative, also exposes the club to risks if broadcasting deals are renegotiated at lower values or if performance criteria are not met.


  1. Strategic Review: The club may need to conduct a strategic review of its operations to identify areas where efficiencies can be improved, and costs can be managed more effectively.
  2. Revenue Diversification: There is a need for diversification of revenue streams to reduce dependency on television rights and to build resilience against market fluctuations.
  3. Financial Compliance: The declining EBITDA and FFP earnings could put the club at risk of non-compliance with financial regulations, leading to potential sanctions. Measures to improve profitability and align with FFP regulations will be critical.
  4. Investment and Spending: The club may have to reconsider its investment and spending strategies, particularly in areas like player acquisitions and long-term infrastructural projects, to ensure financial stability.
  5. Market Positioning: Given the importance of television rights, maintaining a competitive position in the league is essential. Performance on the pitch directly impacts the club’s marketability and bargaining power for future broadcasting deals.
  6. Cost Management: Conduct a thorough review of all operational costs to identify areas where efficiency can be increased. This may include renegotiating supplier contracts, optimizing player wages, and reducing unnecessary expenditures.
  7. Commercial Partnerships: Seek new sponsorship deals and strategic partnerships that align with the club’s brand and values. This can also include expanding into international markets to capitalize on global fanbases.
  8. Investment in Analytics: Invest in data analytics to better understand fan behavior and preferences, which can inform more targeted marketing and sales strategies to boost revenues.
  9. Community Engagement: Strengthen community engagement programs to build a loyal fanbase, which can translate into higher merchandise sales and matchday revenues.
  10. Performance Optimisation: Invest in player development and performance analytics to improve on-pitch performance, which is crucial for maintaining and increasing television and prize money revenues.
  11. Long-term Strategic Planning: Develop a multi-year strategic plan that balances the need for immediate financial stability with the longer-term vision for growth and success.

Business model

Standard Football Club Business Model Components:

  1. Revenue Generation: Typically, football clubs generate revenue through several streams:
    • Matchday revenue: Ticket sales for home matches.
    • Broadcasting rights: Income from the sale of rights to televise games.
    • Commercial sources: Sponsorships, advertising, and merchandise sales.
  2. Cost Management: Expenditure includes player wages, transfer fees, staff salaries, stadium maintenance, and development programs.
  3. Investment in Talent and Infrastructure: Investing in player development, scouting, and training facilities to improve the team’s performance and value.
  4. Community Engagement: Outreach programs to foster local support, enhance club reputation, and develop a loyal fanbase.

Given these components and the financial data provided, Athletic Transcentral’s business model likely includes:

  • Heavy reliance on TV revenue: With a significant portion of revenue from broadcasting rights, it suggests a business model that capitalizes on the club’s popularity and competitive performance.
  • Commercial partnerships and sponsorships: Indicated by the sponsorship revenue, implying a focus on leveraging brand value to secure corporate deals.
  • Retail operations: Revenue from merchandise, indicating a brand presence in consumer goods.
  • Matchday operations: Ticket sales, indicating the importance of maintaining a strong matchday experience to attract fans.
  • Prize money: Earnings from competitive success, indicating that performance in leagues and cups is integral to the financial model.

Prospects of the company

Positive Prospects:

  • Revenue Growth: Consistent year-over-year growth in revenue suggests that the club has a solid fan base and commercial appeal, which is a strong foundation for future growth.
  • Market Potential: With high revenues from broadcasting rights, Athletic Transcentral seems well-positioned to benefit from the global popularity of football and the increasing value of media rights in sports.
  • Brand Value: Revenue from sponsorships and retail indicates a strong brand, which can be leveraged for further commercial partnerships and global merchandising opportunities.

Areas of Concern:

  • Profitability: The declining EBITDA points to increasing costs or inefficiencies that need to be addressed to improve profitability and ensure financial sustainability.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The declining earnings relevant for Financial Fair Play regulations suggest that the club needs to better align its financial strategies with regulatory requirements to avoid potential sanctions.
  • Competitive Performance: As a significant portion of revenue comes from prize money, maintaining competitive performance is crucial for the club’s financial health.

Recommendations for Future Prospects:

  • Cost Management and Efficiency: Athletic Transcentral must focus on improving cost management to reverse the trend of declining profitability.
  • Strategic Investments: Continued investment in talent and infrastructure to maintain competitive performance is essential, as is investment in areas that can open new revenue streams.
  • Leverage Digital Platforms: Expanding the digital presence and engaging with fans through online platforms could offer new avenues for revenue and brand enhancement.
  • Global Expansion: Exploring international markets could help diversify revenue sources, reducing dependence on volatile income streams like broadcasting rights.

Key Players and Market Structure

Stadium Infrastructure:

  • The top three clubs have moved to new stadiums in the last eight years, suggesting significant capital investment in infrastructure.
  • New stadiums offer improved facilities for supporters and increased capacity, which can lead to higher matchday revenues.
  • These investments are also aimed at enhancing the matchday experience for fans, which is crucial for maintaining and growing a loyal fan base.

Diversification of Income:

  • Clubs are diversifying their income streams by hiring out stadium facilities for non-football events, which not only boosts revenues but also optimizes the utilization of the infrastructure.
  • The focus on energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint reflects a growing trend in sports towards sustainability and can also lead to cost savings and a stronger brand image.

Digital Media and Innovation:

  • All clubs are leveraging digital media strategies to increase income and bolster their market presence.
  • The use of websites and social media platforms for news and engagement helps maintain a connection with the fan base and can attract new supporters.
  • The creation of own television channels with subscription models indicates a strategic move to capture more value from media content and provides a direct channel to fans.

Key Players – The Teams:

There are eight leading teams in , where Athletic Transcentral is at number 8 in 20X3, it is important to highlight that Athletic Transcentral has dropped to number eight from number five to 20X1.

Market Share:

In order to comment on the market share of Athletic Transcentral, we can use both stadium capacity and revenue from annual accounts. In terms of stadium capacity, Athletic Transcentral has 8.28% share, when considered with the other seven main players. Similarly, in terms of revenue, Athletic Transcentral has 8.26% share (nearly equal to the share it has in the stadium capacity).

SBL Pre-seem - Stadium Capacity
SBL Pre-seem – Stadium Capacity
SBL Pre-seen - Team Revenues
SBL Pre-seen – Team Revenues

Main Customers and Demographics

Given the typical structure of a football club and the information we have discussed, the main customers of Athletic Transcentral would likely encompass:

  1. Local Supporters: The backbone of any club, these fans attend matches, buy merchandise, and support the club through various ups and downs. They are crucial for matchday revenues and create the vibrant atmosphere at home games.
  2. Season Ticket Holders: A subset of local supporters, season ticket holders provide a reliable income stream and are often deeply loyal fans. They might receive special perks and are important for ensuring a steady matchday attendance.
  3. Corporate Sponsors and Partners: Businesses that engage in sponsorships, advertising, and hospitality services at the club’s facilities. These partnerships can be lucrative and are vital for the financial health of the club.
  4. International Supporters: Fans from around the world contribute to the club’s global brand and revenue through merchandise sales, international tours, and digital subscriptions (e.g., match streams, exclusive content).
  5. Youth and Community Programs Participants: Young fans and local community members involved in the club’s outreach, educational, and developmental programs. They are important for long-term fanbase growth and community support.
  6. Merchandise Consumers: Both local and international fans who purchase the club’s branded merchandise contribute significantly to the club’s revenue outside of matchdays.
  7. Digital Platform Users: Followers on social media, subscribers to the club’s digital content, and users of the club’s website and app. They represent a newer, tech-savvy demographic.

The mix of these customer segments underscores the diverse revenue streams a football club like Athletic Transcentral relies upon, ranging from matchday income to global merchandising and digital engagement. Catering to these varied groups effectively is crucial for the club’s sustained success and growth.

Sales and Distribution Channels

While the section specifically about “distribution channels” wasn’t directly quoted, we can infer from the sales information that distribution channels include:

  • Physical and online ticket sales platforms.
  • Physical sales at the stadium (refreshments, merchandise).
  • Online merchandise stores.
  • Partnership agreements with sponsors and advertisers for distributing branded content and merchandise.

Governing Body and Ownership of the Company

The Athletic Transcentral ACCA SBL document provides insights into Athletic Transcentral’s governing body and ownership structure. Here’s an elaboration on these aspects:

Governing Body: Board of Directors

Board Composition:

Board Composition and Roles: The board includes functional directors who are responsible for different business functions within Athletic Transcentral. These roles and responsibilities are as follows:

  • Football Director: Oversees the football teams, including 125 players and 130 coaching and technical staff. Responsible for the club’s transfer policy, with team managers reporting to them.
  • Finance Director: Manages financial control and reporting, overseeing the finance function.
  • Marketing and IT Director: Handles marketing, digital media, and oversees the IT manager and their staff.
  • Commercial Director: Manages relations with sponsors and suppliers, as well as retail and merchandising activities.
  • Administration Director: Responsible for stadium and facilities management, and maintaining employee and other records.

Staff Recruitment and Appraisal: Each functional area is responsible for recruiting and appraising its own staff. For example, first-team players are appraised by the team manager.

Audit Committee: The board has one committee, the audit committee, staffed by the two non-executive directors. The document does not provide further details on the committee’s responsibilities or functions.

Company Secretary: The board is assisted by a company secretary, who is not a director.

Family Involvement: One member of the Clicombe family serves as the chief executive, but no other family members are on the board or actively involved in the management.

Ownership Structure

The pre-seen document does not specify the ownership structure of Athletic Transcentral. It mentions that Athletic Transcentral is owned by Athletic Transcentral Co, which operates the football club, implying a single-entity ownership focused on the football club’s operations. The company is not listed and is family-owned, signalling that listing regulations will not be relevant here.

Summary – Corporate Governance

The governance of clubs within the league, including Athletic Transcentral, is influenced by the Kyleland Football Association (KFA), which enforces playing regulations and financial fair play and recommends adherence to generally accepted corporate governance best practices. The KFA’s regulations are designed to comply with both Wocian and World Football governing bodies, indicating a structured approach to governance that aligns with international standards.

Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Main ethical threats

Main ethical threats relevant to the entity include:

1. Financial Integrity

Match-fixing and Betting: Illegal betting and match-fixing pose significant threats, undermining the integrity of the sport.

Financial Mismanagement: Misuse of funds, excessive debt, or creative accounting to hide financial troubles.

2. Fair Play and Governance

Corruption: Involving bribery in player transfers, influencing match officials, or in securing hosting rights for major events.

Transparency: Lack of openness in decision-making processes, especially in governance structures and financial dealings.

3. Player Welfare and Rights

Exploitation: Poor treatment of players, such as unfair contracts, inadequate health care, or overworking young athletes.

Equality and Discrimination: Issues related to racism, sexism, and lack of diversity and inclusion within teams and leadership roles.

4. Fan Engagement and Behavior

Fan Violence: Ensuring fan safety in and around stadiums.

Toxic Fan Culture: Addressing racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination among supporters.

5. Environmental Sustainability

Resource Use: High levels of energy consumption, waste production, and carbon footprint from travel activities.

Sustainable Infrastructure: Developing and maintaining eco-friendly stadiums and facilities.

6. Social Responsibility

Community Engagement: Balancing profit motives with contributing positively to local communities.

Charitable Activities: Engaging in or supporting social causes and using the club’s platform for advocacy.

7. Technological Ethics

Data Privacy: Handling fan and employee data responsibly, especially in digital marketing and ticket sales.

Digital Security: Protecting against cyber threats and ensuring the integrity of online platforms.

8. Sponsorship and Commercial Partnerships

Ethical Sponsorships: Aligning with sponsors that reflect the club’s values and not promoting harmful products or practices.

Merchandising Practices: Ensuring ethical production and fair labor practices in merchandise manufacturing.

Environmental, Social, and Technological risks

The pre seen material does not explicitly detail the company’s environmental, social, and technological risks. However, we can infer general risks:

Environmental Risks

Carbon Footprint: The travel required for teams, staff, and fans to attend away games contributes significantly to carbon emissions. Additionally, the operation of large stadiums is energy-intensive.

Resource Consumption: High levels of water and energy usage for maintaining pitches, stadiums, and training facilities.

Waste Management: Events generate considerable amounts of waste, including food, packaging, and promotional materials.

Biodiversity Impact: Construction and expansion of facilities can impact local ecosystems and wildlife.

Social Risks

Community Impact: Large events can lead to congestion, noise pollution, and other disruptions for local communities.

Fan Behavior: Instances of violence, discrimination, or hooliganism among fans pose safety and reputation risks.

Player and Employee Welfare: Ensuring fair treatment, mental health support, and career development opportunities for players and staff.

Diversity and Inclusion: Addressing gender imbalance, racial diversity, and inclusion within the organization and its fan base.

Technological Risks

Cybersecurity Threats: Risks of data breaches, hacking, and online fraud affecting the organization’s digital assets and sensitive information.

Dependence on Technology: Reliance on digital ticketing, streaming, and online merchandising introduces vulnerabilities if systems fail.

Social Media: Mismanagement of social media can lead to PR crises, while negative trends can harm the organization’s reputation.

Technological Obsolescence: Keeping up with rapid technological advancements is necessary to avoid falling behind in fan engagement and operational efficiency.

PEST Analysis

Political Factors

Regulations and Governance: The document mentions the Kyleland Football Association (KFA) and its regulations, including financial fair play regulations (FFPR). Clubs face penalties for breaches, which can significantly impact their operations and competitive standing. This regulatory environment influences Athletic Transcentral’s governance and compliance strategies.

Economic Factors

The economic context for Athletic Transcentral is hinted at through discussions on revenue sources (e.g., ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorship) and the financial challenges of maintaining competitive teams due to high player salaries and transfer fees. The importance of achieving high league positions for financial success is underscored, as this affects prize money and qualification for international competitions, which in turn impacts revenue.

Social Factors

Media and Public Engagement: The document highlights the role of media coverage and social media in shaping the club’s public image and engagement. The club’s success and activities are closely followed in newspapers and digital platforms, emphasizing the need for effective public relations strategies.

Community and Supporter Engagement: The move to new stadiums with better facilities and the effort to maximize energy usage efficiency reflects a commitment to enhancing fan experiences and environmental responsibility. The club’s use of digital media strategies to maintain and increase supporter interest is also noted.

Technological Factors

Digital Media and Broadcasting: Athletic Transcentral and other clubs are leveraging digital media and proprietary television channels to enhance income and fan engagement. This adaptation to digital platforms indicates the critical role of technology in the club’s operational and marketing strategies.

Sustainability Initiatives: Efforts to build energy-efficient stadiums align with broader environmental and technological trends, showcasing the club’s response to sustainability challenges.

Summary – PEST

The PEST analysis indicates that Athletic Transcentral operates in a dynamic environment influenced by regulatory pressures, economic challenges, social expectations, and technological advancements. The club’s strategies for governance, financial management, public engagement, and technology adoption are crucial for its success and sustainability. This analysis, derived from the pre-seen document, highlights the multifaceted external factors Athletic Transcentral must navigate within the football industry.

Ansoff’s Matrix

Ansoff’s Matrix is a strategic planning tool that can help a company decide on its product and market growth strategy. It consists of four growth options based on whether products are new or existing and whether markets are new or existing. Here’s how we might apply Ansoff’s Matrix, with detailed references to the company’s nature and its industry:

Market Penetration

Increasing Ticket Sales and Matchday Revenue: Athletic Transcentral could focus on strategies to fill the stadium to capacity for every match, potentially through improved marketing, enhanced fan experiences, or loyalty programs.

Enhancing Broadcast and Digital Presence: Strengthening the club’s media coverage and online engagement to retain and attract fans.

Product Development

Enhanced Digital Content and Services: Developing new digital platforms, apps, or virtual experiences to engage fans, such as exclusive behind-the-scenes content, virtual meet-and-greets with players, or augmented reality experiences.

Merchandising: Expanding the range of club merchandise with innovative products, possibly incorporating sustainable materials or technologies to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Market Development

International Fan Base Expansion: Targeting international markets to grow the fan base outside Kyleland through international friendly matches, overseas fan events, or partnerships with local clubs.

E-Sports and Digital Competitions: Entering the e-sports arena by creating or sponsoring e-sports teams or competitions, appealing to a younger, digitally savvy audience.


Investment in Non-Football Ventures: Diversifying into non-football related businesses, such as sports education, fitness centers, or hospitality, leveraging the club’s brand.

Sustainable and Technological Initiatives: Initiating projects that focus on sustainability and technology, like investing in green technologies for the stadium or starting a tech incubator for sports technology startups.

Summary – Ansoff’s Matrix

Given the context provided in the document, Athletic Transcentral has several avenues to explore for growth and expansion. The club’s success in navigating these strategies will depend on effectively leveraging its existing strengths and resources while innovating to meet market demands and opportunities.

Recommendation: Market Penetration

Given the context provided in the pre-seen document, Market Penetration seems to be the most suited strategy for Athletic Transcentral. Here’s the justification:

  • Existing Fan Base and Market: Athletic Transcentral already has a strong presence in its current market, with a history of success and a dedicated fan base. Focusing on deepening relationships with existing fans, increasing season ticket sales, and enhancing match-day experiences can provide immediate revenue boosts and strengthen brand loyalty.
  • Competitive League Environment: The club operates in a competitive environment where maintaining and enhancing competitive advantage is crucial. By focusing on market penetration, Athletic Transcentral can leverage its existing assets, such as its stadium and brand, to outcompete rivals in attracting fans and sponsors.
  • Leveraging Digital Platforms: The document mentions the use of digital media strategies to enhance income and interest. There’s significant room to grow in this area by improving online content, engaging with fans through social media, and offering innovative digital services that enhance the fan experience both on and off the match day.
  • Resource Optimization: Given the financial and operational pressures detailed in the document, focusing on the core business by maximizing existing resources and capabilities is prudent. Market penetration requires less investment and poses lower risk compared to entering new markets or developing new products, aligning with the club’s need to manage financial sustainability.

Porter’s Diamond

Porter’s Diamond model analyzes the competitive advantages of nations or regions, providing insight into the advantages a company might have within its home country. Here’s the application of the model to scenario:

Factor Conditions

Human Resources: Athletic Transcentral has access to a skilled workforce, including players, coaching staff, and management. The document mentions 125 players and 130 coaching and technical staff, indicating a strong base of human capital.

Physical Resources: The club’s facilities, such as the stadium and training facilities, are crucial. The move to new stadiums with better facilities and increased capacity suggests a strong physical infrastructure.

Demand Conditions

Local Fan Base: The document highlights a strong local and global fan base. The demand for football in Kyleland, including high match attendance and significant following, drives the club to improve its offerings continuously.

Media Coverage and Engagement: There is considerable media coverage and social media engagement, indicating a high level of interest and demand for football content among the public.

Broadcasting and Media: The close relationship with television broadcasters and digital media platforms supports the club’s visibility and revenue through broadcasting rights and online content.

Merchandising and Sponsorship: Partnerships with sponsors and suppliers, as well as an effective merchandising strategy for selling club-branded products, are crucial supporting industries.

Firm Strategy, Structure, and Rivalry

Strategic Focus: The club’s strategic focus on leveraging its history, enhancing fan engagement, and maximizing revenue through various streams (e.g., ticket sales, merchandising) is evident.

Internal Rivalry: The competitive environment within Kyleland’s football league, with clubs vying for top talent, sponsors, and fan support, drives innovation and improvement.

Application to Athletic Transcentral

Applying Porter’s Diamond to Athletic Transcentral reveals several competitive advantages and areas for strategic development:

The club’s strong human and physical resources provide a solid foundation for competitive performance.

High demand from both local and international fans can be leveraged for greater engagement and revenue generation.

Collaborations with related industries like media and merchandising enhance the club’s visibility and financial health.

The competitive rivalry within the league prompts Athletic Transcentral to continually innovate and improve its offerings to maintain and enhance its competitive position.

Summary – Porter’s Diamond

To capitalise on these advantages, Athletic Transcentral could focus on further developing its human resources through talent development programs, investing in state-of-the-art facilities, expanding its global fan engagement strategies, and forging strategic partnerships in related industries. Additionally, adopting innovative strategies to navigate the competitive rivalry, such as unique fan experiences and technological advancements in game analysis and player performance, could further strengthen its competitive position.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

Applying Porter’s Generic Strategies can provide a clear understanding of the company’s competitive positioning and strategic approach. Porter’s Generic Strategies include Cost Leadership, Differentiation, and Focus (which can further be divided into Cost Focus and Differentiation Focus).

1. Cost Leadership

For Athletic Transcentral, pursuing a cost leadership strategy would involve becoming the lowest cost producer in the football industry. This is challenging in a context where substantial investments in talent and infrastructure are critical for success. However, the club could aim for operational efficiencies, such as optimising stadium operations, leveraging technology for cost-effective fan engagement, and managing player salaries and transfer fees judiciously. While cost leadership is difficult in professional sports due to the premium on talent and fan experience, incremental efficiencies can improve competitiveness.

2. Differentiation

Differentiation is a more natural fit for a football club like Athletic Transcentral. This strategy involves offering unique attributes that are valued by fans and sponsors:

Unique Fan Experiences: Enhancing match-day experiences, offering exclusive content, and creating a unique club culture can differentiate the club in a crowded market.

Brand and Heritage: Leveraging its historical significance and successes to strengthen brand identity. Athletic Transcentral’s long history and tradition could be a significant differentiator.

Player Development and Style of Play: Investing in youth development to cultivate a distinctive style of play or focusing on sustainability and ethics could also serve as differentiators.

Technological Innovation: Utilising technology for fan engagement, such as augmented reality experiences in the stadium or advanced digital platforms, can set the club apart.

3. Focus Strategy

A focus strategy would involve concentrating on particular niche markets or segments. For Athletic Transcentral, this could mean targeting specific geographic areas for fan base expansion or focusing on particular demographics:

Local Community Engagement: Deepening ties with the local community through outreach programmes, local talent development, and partnerships with local businesses.

International Markets: Focusing on expanding the fan base in specific international markets with targeted marketing campaigns, language-specific content, and international fan events.

Youth and Family Engagement: Developing programmes and experiences tailored to younger fans and families to cultivate long-term loyalty.

Recommendation: Differentiation

The most suited strategy for Athletic Transcentral is Differentiation. Given the highly competitive nature of football, where success on the pitch and fan loyalty off it are paramount, differentiation through unique fan experiences, leveraging the club’s heritage, and technological innovation offers the most sustainable path to competitive advantage. This approach aligns with the club’s existing strengths, such as its history, fan base, and potential for innovative fan engagement. By differentiating itself, Athletic Transcentral can enhance brand loyalty, attract premium sponsorships, and command higher ticket prices, contributing to financial sustainability and long-term success.

In conclusion, while cost leadership and focus strategies have their merits, the differentiation strategy is most aligned with the unique characteristics and competitive dynamics of the football industry, making it the most suitable approach for Athletic Transcentral to achieve a competitive advantage.

Porter’s Five Forces

Applying Porter’s Five Forces model will help understand the competitive forces and the industry’s overall attractiveness.

1. Threat of New Entrants

Barriers to Entry: High. Establishing a new professional football club that competes at the same level as Athletic Transcentral involves significant financial investment, regulatory approvals, and building a fan base. The heritage, loyalty, and established brand of existing clubs like Athletic Transcentral pose significant barriers for new entrants.

Capital Requirements: The need for substantial capital for stadium development, acquiring players, and operational costs further limits the threat of new entrants.

2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Players and Agents: High. Top players and their agents can exert considerable power due to their critical role in the club’s success on the pitch. This can affect transfer fees and wages, impacting the club’s financial management.

Equipment and Services: Moderate. While there are many suppliers for sporting equipment and services, the demand for high-quality supplies gives some bargaining power to specialised suppliers.

3. Bargaining Power of Buyers

Fans: Moderate to High. Fans have a significant emotional investment in the club but also have certain expectations regarding ticket prices, merchandise, and the overall experience. Their loyalty can be tested by poor performance or high pricing, but deep-rooted support often mitigates this power.

Broadcasters and Sponsors: High. These entities have a wide range of choices and seek to associate with successful clubs, giving them substantial bargaining power in negotiations over broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals.

4. Threat of Substitute Products or Services

Direct Substitutes: Low to Moderate. While other leisure activities and sports exist, the unique appeal of football and loyalty to Athletic Transcentral limits the threat of substitutes.

Indirect Substitutes: Moderate. Other forms of entertainment and sports can compete for fans’ time and money, especially with the rise of digital entertainment options.

5. Rivalry Among Existing Competitors

Competition: High. The rivalry within the football league is intense, with clubs competing for titles, players, and fan support. The financial implications of league standings and performance in domestic and international competitions exacerbate this rivalry.

Application to Athletic Transcentral

For Athletic Transcentral, the Five Forces analysis highlights several strategic considerations:

  • Maintaining Competitive Advantage: The club must continue to invest in talent, infrastructure, and fan engagement to maintain its competitive position and mitigate the bargaining power of players and agents.
  • Enhancing Fan Loyalty: Building deeper connections with fans can reduce the threat of substitutes and the bargaining power of buyers by reinforcing their loyalty and support.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Negotiating favourable deals with broadcasters and sponsors is crucial for financial sustainability, given their high bargaining power.
  • Innovation and Diversification: Exploring new revenue streams and enhancing the match-day experience can help the club differentiate itself in a highly competitive market.


In conclusion, Athletic Transcentral operates in a challenging environment with significant competitive pressures. Addressing these through strategic investments, fan engagement, and careful negotiation with key stakeholders is essential for sustaining its competitive advantage.


To carry out a SWOT analysis we must assess its internal Strengths and Weaknesses and the external Opportunities and Threats a company faces within the industry and market in which it operates. Here is a detailed SWOT analysis considering the company’s nature and specifics:


Strong Heritage and Brand Identity: Athletic Transcentral has a rich history and a well-established presence in the football industry, contributing to a strong brand identity.

Loyal Fan Base: The club enjoys robust support both locally and globally, ensuring steady revenue from match days, merchandise, and memberships.

Skilled Workforce: With a significant number of players and coaching staff, the club has a solid foundation for competitive performance on the pitch.

New Facilities: The move to new stadiums with better facilities enhances the match-day experience for fans and offers increased capacity for revenue generation.


Financial Pressures: Like many football clubs, Athletic Transcentral faces financial pressures, particularly in managing high player salaries and transfer fees.

Competition for Talent: The club operates in a highly competitive market, making it challenging to attract and retain top talent without substantial financial investment.

Dependence on Match-Day Revenue: Reliance on match-day income makes the club vulnerable to factors that could affect attendance, such as team performance or economic downturns.


Digital Engagement: There is significant potential to expand digital engagement with fans through innovative content, enhancing global reach and opening new revenue streams.

International Expansion: Growing the club’s international fan base through targeted marketing and partnerships can diversify revenue sources and reduce dependence on local markets.

Sustainability Initiatives: Embracing sustainability and environmental responsibility could differentiate the club and appeal to a broader audience, aligning with global trends towards eco-consciousness.


Economic Uncertainties: Economic downturns can affect disposable income, potentially reducing fan spending on tickets, merchandise, and subscriptions.

Regulatory Changes: Changes in football governance or financial fair play regulations could impact the club’s operations and financial planning.

Competitive Pressure: The intense competition within the league and from international clubs poses a constant threat to maintaining and enhancing the club’s competitive position.

Application to Athletic Transcentral

This SWOT analysis indicates that while Athletic Transcentral has a strong foundation and significant opportunities for growth, it must also navigate financial pressures and competitive challenges. Leveraging its strengths, such as its brand identity and loyal fan base, while exploring opportunities for digital engagement and international expansion, can help the club enhance its competitive advantage. Meanwhile, addressing weaknesses and mitigating threats, such as economic uncertainties and regulatory changes, will be crucial for its sustained success and resilience in the competitive landscape of football.

Mendelow’s Matrix

To apply Mendelow’s Matrix to Athletic Transcentral, we need to consider the stakeholders in relation to their power and interest in the club. Mendelow’s Matrix helps organisations to prioritise stakeholder engagement based on the level of interest and power stakeholders have over the organisation. Stakeholders are categorised into four quadrants: A, B, C, and D, which guide how much attention should be given to each group.

A: Minimal Effort

Low Power, Low Interest: This group may include local businesses not directly connected with the club or casual fans. They require minimal effort beyond basic communication or standard public relations.

B: Keep Informed

Low Power, High Interest: Dedicated fans and local community groups might fall into this category. They have a high interest in the club’s success but limited power to influence its strategy. Regular updates and community engagement initiatives are appropriate here.

C: Keep Satisfied

High Power, Low Interest: This group could include sponsors with significant investment in the club but a more transactional interest, or local government entities responsible for infrastructure and safety around the stadium. Their needs should be carefully managed to ensure their support remains positive, but they do not need to be closely involved in decision-making.

D: Key Players

High Power, High Interest: Key players include the club’s ownership (e.g., the Clicombe family), the board of directors, major investors, top players and their agents, and significant sponsors. These stakeholders have a substantial influence on the club’s strategy and operations. Engaging with this group requires strategic focus, involving them in decision-making processes, and ensuring their needs and expectations are met to secure their support and investment.

Application to Athletic Transcentral

For Athletic Transcentral, applying Mendelow’s Matrix involves:

  • Identifying Stakeholders: Clearly identifying who the stakeholders are in each quadrant based on their current interest and power in relation to the club.
  • Strategic Engagement: Developing targeted strategies for engaging with each group. For example, enhancing fan engagement through social media and community programs for Group B, while focusing on transparent and inclusive decision-making processes for Group D stakeholders like the board and major investors.
  • Monitoring Changes: Stakeholder positions in the matrix can change over time as their interest in or power over the club changes. Regularly reassessing the stakeholder landscape is crucial for maintaining effective relationships and ensuring strategic alignment with key players.


By applying Mendelow’s Matrix, Athletic Transcentral can strategically manage its stakeholder relationships, focusing efforts where they are most needed to support the club’s objectives and ensure its long-term success and stability in the competitive football industry.

Philip Meagher
23 min read
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  1. Do the AT is being having their own acedmy ?
    In the pre-seen it has been just mentioned that the Five professional clubs have their own acedmy

  2. Talent development and Performance measurement wads not really emphasized on, I think there’s a model to that effect.
    Also, emphasis was not laid on corporate social responsibility

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