Comparative analysis of the Spanish and United Kingdom sport-political models




Sport systems, Sport politics, Sport policy, Comparative study, UK, Spain


This research conducts a comparative study between the sports models of the United Kingdom (UK) and Spain, emphasizing the complexity of these systems and the need for a multidimensional analysis. The objective of analysing the most important characteristics and differences between the Spanish sports model and structure and the UK sports model, the leading exponent due to its efficiency in the development of sports practice and in obtaining international sports results, to determine possible improvements. To carry out this study, a comparative analysis of the sports models of both countries has been made from a political-sports perspective, and the study of the administrative-organizational structure of sport and the legal regulations that support it, through a mixed design for the analysis of different qualitative dimensions. The most significant conclusions are that in the United Kingdom, a successful transformation has been achieved with a focus on efficiency, public investment, and private partnerships, while in Spain, sporting results have been maintained without a clear strategy, suggesting the need for a re-evaluation of its model. Moreover, the stronger associative culture and a higher number of qualified professionals in the United Kingdom are significant advantages. In conclusion, the United Kingdom's sports model is considered more developed and efficient, highlighting the importance of comprehensive planning and collaboration between public and private entities as key factors for sporting success.


University of Granada - Research Plan 2023 (Exchange at University of Bologna), Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (Research Project - PRX 16/00367)


Download data is not yet available.


Andreff, W. (2021). The Economic Determinants of the Olympic Performance in Communist and Post-Communist Countries. In: Andreff, W. (eds) Comparative Economic Studies in Europe. Studies in Economic Transition. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Bayle, E. (1999). Management et performance des organisations à but non lucratif: le case des fédérations sportives nacionales. Limoges. Université de Limoges.

Bayle, E. (2001). Les modes de gouvernance des organisations à but non lucratif: une étude appliquée aux fédérations sportives nationales. La Revue des Sciences de Gestion: Direction et Gestion, 188/189, 83-96.

Bergsgard, N. A. (2007). Sport policy: A comparative analysis of stability and change. Routledge.

Cabello, D., Rivera, E., Trigueros, C., & Pérez, I. (2011). Análisis del modelo del deporte federado español del siglo XXI. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, 11 (44) 690-707. Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

Camps, A. (2006). Las competiciones deportivas. Navarra. Aranzadi.

Camy, J., Clijsen, L., Madella, A., & Pilkington, A. (2004). Improving employment in the field of sport in Europe through vocational training. Vocational education and training in the field of sport in the European Union. Situation, trends and outlook. Lyon. Vocasport.

Chappelet, J. L. (2010). Autonomy of Sport in Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Citoyenneté, T. (2013). L'organisation du sport dans les Etats membres de l'Union européenne. Saumur, Imprimerie du Val de Loire.

Coalter, F. (2007). A Wider Social Role for Sport: Who's Keeping the Score?. Londres, Routledge.

Consejo Superior de Deportes-CSD (2022). Anuario de estadísticas Deportivas. Madrid: CSD. Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

De Bosscher, V. (2018). A mixed methods approach to compare elite sport policies of nations. A critical reflection on the use of composite indicators in the SPLISS study, Sport in Society, 21 (2), 331-355.

European Commission. (2011). Communication on Sport: Developing the European dimension in sport. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

European Parliament. (2020). EU sport policy: Going faster, aiming higher, researching further. European Parliament.

Fundación España Activa (2020): Termómetro del ecosistema del deporte en España. Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

García Ferrando, M. (2006). Los españoles y el deporte: Posmodernidad y deporte: entre la individualización y la masificación: encuesta sobre hábitos de los españoles. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.

González-Ruiz, J., Gómez-Píriz, P., Puga-González, E., & Cabello-Manrique, D. (2022). Spanish women athletes' performance in the Summer Olympic Games history. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 17(3), 473-483.

González-Ruiz, J., (2022). Análisis comparado del modelo de tercer sector del deporte en España y Reino Unido. Universidad de Granada (tesis doctoral). Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

Green, M., & Collins, S. (2008). Policy, politics and path dependency. Sport development in Australia and Finland. Sport Management Review, 11 (3), 225-251.

Henry, I. (2009). European models of sport: Governance, organisational change and sport policy in the EU. Hitotsubashi Journal of Arts & Sciences, 3, 41-52.

Jiménez, A., Mayo, X & Copeland, R.J. (2020). The positive impact of physical activity and exercise on immune function. Brussels. Europe Active.

Miège, C., & Jappert, J. (2013). L'organisation du sport dans les Etats membres de l'Union Européene. Sport et Citoyenneté.

Monroy Antón, A. (2012). Las instituciones públicas en el deporte. International Journal of Sports Law & Management, 21-30.

Puga-González, E. (2018). El efecto de la crisis en el deporte federado español y su realidad a nivel europeo. Universidad de Jaén (tesis doctoral). Retrieved from [Accessed 10/25/2023]:

Scheerder, J., Willem, A., Claes, E., & Billiet, S. (2015). International study on the organisation of sport in twelve countries and their policy towards sport federations. Ghent: University of Leuven.

Sport England (2019). Measuring the Social and Economic Impact of Sport in England Report 2: The Economic Importance of Sport and Physical Activity in England. Sheffield Hallam University. Sport Industry Research Center.

Teruelo Ferreras, B. (2013). El Deporte Municipal en España: La Revisión del Modelo. Ayuntamiento de Bilbao.

UK Sport (2015). How UK sport funding works. London: UK Sport.

Velázquez, P. (2010). Implementation of the White Paper on Sport and consultations for implementing the Lisbon Treaty in the field of sport. EU Sport Forum.

Comparative analysis of the Spanish and United Kingdom sport-political models



Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Puga-González, M. E., Pappous, A., Gómez-Píriz, P. T., González-Ruíz, J., & Cabello-Manrique, D. (2023). Comparative analysis of the Spanish and United Kingdom sport-political models. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 19(1), 169–182.



Olympic Section

Most read articles by the same author(s)