New Europe, new chances? The migration of professional footballers to Poland's Ekstraklasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The intention of this paper is to offer a preliminary analysis of the migrations of professional footballers to Poland’s top division – the Ekstraklasa. Based upon a series of interviews conducted with migrant players located at an Ekstraklasa club, the paper focuses specifically on the factors that influence the players’ decisions to migrate to that particular league. The paper identifies that whilst the Ekstraklasa might sit outside of Europe’s core football economies, it still offers much as a migration destination for certain sorts of players. Specifically, the paper shows how ‘pull’ factors, such as financial gain and the opportunity to play in Europe’s elite club competitions, are juxtaposed with a number of structural factors that ‘push’ migrants from particular locations and that are contoured by the players’ desires to progress in their careers. The paper concludes by showing that the motivations of the migrants cannot be reduced to any single causal factor, but rather, to be more meaningful, a series of interdependent processes should be seen to be at work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-750
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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