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The Centre for Sports Economics & Law (CSEL) is a collaborative unit of academics based across the Department of Economics and School of Law.

The mission of CSEL is to be a centre of excellence in research and a leading hub internationally for sports economics and sports law study and practice. Given the Centre’s interdisciplinary strengths, our members endeavour to conduct research at the nexus of the two specialisms.

Through our reseach, teaching and external engagement we strive to be a key part of the CUBS mission, matching the Business Schools' vision of being nationally and internationally recogonised for research while having a meaningful scholary impact on our students and society.

"Sport matters economically in terms of employment but is also important to physical and mental health. So many care about sport and identify with sporting institutions - in some cases, sport provides a lifetime of entertainment."  - Dr David Butler (CSEL)


CSEL members bring expertise from a variety of backgrounds in their core discipline and have published sports research in many recognised international journals and books. This research has featured in general outlets such as;

  • The European Journal of Operational Research, The British Journal of Industrial Relations, Public Choice, The Scottish Journal of Political Economy, The Journal of Institutional Economics, Regional Studies, Applied EconomicsThe Journal of Economic Studies, Economic and Social Review and Oxford Economic Papers.

CSEL members have published research in numerous sport specific outlets such as;

  •  The Journal of Sports Economics, The European Sport Management Quarterly, The International Journal of Sport Finance,  The Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy, Sport Management Review, Soccer and Society and the Sport and Entertainment Review.

In 2020, CSEL scholars were recognised for their research. This saw Dr David Butler, Dr Robert Butler and Dr John Eakins receiving Research Impact Awards. 


CSEL members

“Sport and the Law engage with each other on many levels including within the rules and laws of the games themselves and how the operation of sport and sporting bodies interact with the law. Law’s relationship with Sport helps us understand why crossing the white line makes an act which normally would be illegal is granted an exception in the sporting context”.  Dr Seán Ó Conaill (CSEL)



Butler D, Butler R and Eakins, J (2021). Expert performance and crowd wisdom: Evidence from English Premier League predictions. European Journal of Operational Research. Abstract Below.

"This paper analyses the forecasting accuracy of experts vis-à-vis laypeople over three seasons of English Premier League matches. The authors find that former professional football players have superior forecasting ability when compared to laypeople. The results also give partial support to the view that a crowd forecast offers the greatest precision. Pundits generate a positive return while both the crowd and laypeople generate losses. As the prediction of multiple score outcomes represents a computationally difficult task, both groups display forecasting biases including a preference toward specific score forecasts. The results are relevant for those concerned with gambling behaviour if the forecasting strategies adopted here generalise to match betting markets."


For general enquiries relating to CSEL, and ongoing projects please contact the current director Dr David Butler.