The influence of voluntary sports clubs on the management of community sports facilities in Denmark

Peter Forsberg*, Evald Bundgaard Iversen

*Kontaktforfatter for dette arbejde

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In this article, we use institutional theory to investigate how the role of the manager of Danish community sports facilities (CSFs) was initially defined and then developed from when the first CSFs were established in 1890 until 2017. We focus on three periods: The formative period (1890–1920), the confirmative period (1960–1980) and the challenging period (1997–2017). We conclude that the expectations for the manager’s role were initially defined by the needs and wishes of voluntary sports clubs (VSCs) and, further, that these expectations were stable throughout the two following periods. The management of CSFs has primarily been concerned with technical aspects such as budgeting, maintenance and cleaning, while the sporting activities in the CSFs have been the responsibility of the VSCs. Based on the analysis, we discuss how the managers of CSFs could handle current challenges such as an excess of available timeslots, cutbacks in subsidies and a maintenance backlog. We conclude that it is questionable whether the managers can provide the solutions to these, as their role seems to remain stable primarily due to a persistent pressure from VSCs to maintain the status quo for the role of the manager–i.e. that the manager should primarily focus on the need and wishes of the VSCs. Finally, we argue that if the aim is to make it possible for the manager to handle the challenges, the municipalities should consider to change the way municipalities allocate subsidies to CSFs.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)399-414
StatusUdgivet - 2019