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Strong & Weak Ties In a Soccer Club

It is important to understand the dynamics and relationships in a football club, in order to maintain stability. An excessive number of negative relationships can lead to structural imbalance, resulting in repercussions in terms of the job security of stakeholders involved.

The stakeholders that we will consider in this analysis include the players, the manager, the upper level management and the fans. I will look at Manchester United and its stakeholders in order to see how positive and negative relationships correlate to the success and stability of the club.

From 1998 to 2013, Manchester United enjoyed tremendous success under manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He was able to retain all his valuable players and ensure that they had positive relationships with each other, leading to chemistry on the pitch. This resulted in very strong relationships with management and the fans, causing structural balance. During this time, Manchester United won 23 trophies.

However, after he retired and a new manager was appointed, the success of the club began to diminish. The new manager, David Moyes, brought in players who weren’t a right fit, resulting in negative relationships between them and current players. Moreover, he did not try to appease the fans, further ruining relationships with them. Finally, he clashed with Ed Woodward, vice chairman of Manchester united. This resulted in very turmoil times at Manchester united, and no structural balance. This also led to a high turnover in players and managers. 


From the above illustration, we can see that the structural balance in the Sir Alex Ferguson era was a crucial factor in the success of the team and led to his long tenure at the club. David Moyes on the other hand, served at the club for only 1 year. This was due to the structural imbalance caused by the negative relationships formed between the manager and players.

Hence, it is important that a football club is cognizant of the relationships amongst stakeholders as that can be a crucial factor in the success rate and turnover rate at the club.


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