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  • 1.
    Backman, Jyri
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Elite Ice Hockey – A Pleasure Only in Major Cities?: a comparison of Swedish and Finnish Elite Ice Hockey Clubs Geographical Location 2015/20162017In: Presented at the Global Issues and New Ideas in Sport Management, 2nd International Conference of World Association for Sport Management, Kaunas, Lithuania, June 20–23, 2017, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background/problem/issue

    One feature that characterizes National Hockey League (NHL) is that NHL-owners run NHL-clubs in geographical cities/regions that have the best conditions for marketing NHL. Professionalization and commercialization of NHL has also huge impact on global elite ice hockey’s development and commercialization (Kidd and Macfarlane, 1972). NHL influences (i.e. Americanization of sport) have also reached Swedish and Finnish elite ice hockey (Backman, 2012). Even though Sweden and Finland are countries with strong historical ties and a similar tradition of organizing sport (i.e. amateurism and promotion and relegation) representatives of elite ice hockey has chosen different paths (Backman, 2012). Swedish sport and elite ice hockey is organized according to the European Model of Sport with the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation as governing body for all Swedish ice hockey. In Finland the elite ice hockey representatives has chosen to implement several significant feature of the NHL (i.e. American Model of Sport). For example one from the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation autonomous SM-liiga, that runs the elite league, and a closed league, with no promotion or relegation (Backman, 2012). The main problem and research task question is hereby to analyze if this organizational difference has affected the geographical structure where Swedish and Finnish elite ice hockey clubs was located geographically in relation to the size of population 2015/2016 season.

    Theory

    Americanization. The term Americanization means of tradition that American influence and culture is received/imported/forced to a country (Alm, 2002). Americanization has mainly been used in three different meanings. According to the first meaning the concept of Americanization is seen as a center and periphery relationship between the US and the world. As the world's most powerful state, the US, through its economic and political strength have exported their culture to other countries (Alm, 2002). In a hockey perspective this is related to the NHL's hegemonic position. In a second sense, a joint development of modernization is ongoing in the US and Europe. The third meaning refers Americanization to international intermediation of values, ideas and images and symbols with a clear American origin. The provision of these American impulses can be discussed in terms of center/periphery relations between the US and the world. The American impulses are not included in the same shape in the recipient countries; these have been adapted to the conditions in the recipient country. In this case, it is not about America's domination but about what each recipient country chosen to receive (Alm, 2002). In a hockey perspective, the third meaning is related to the impulses from the NHL as the representatives of the Swedish and Finnish ice hockey implemented and implements in each country's elite ice hockey.

    Method

    Comparative study based on document analysis. My documents consist of public statistics from Statistics Sweden and Finnish Population Register Center, media publications, research about NHL, Swedish and Finnish ice hockey and the American and European Model of Sport.

    Result

    In the Swedish elite league (SHL) six of a total of fourteen clubs were from the ten largest municipalities in terms of population. Five clubs were from municipalities located 11-30. Other clubs were from smaller municipalities. One club came from the municipality that did not belong to the fifty largest in terms of population. In Swedish ice hockey there are exceptions from the principle that cities or regions with biggest ice hockey interest have clubs in the elite league (Östman, 1996). Hereto several large Swedish cities don’t have elite league ice hockey, for example Norrköping, Uppsala and Umeå. This development can be explained by Swedish elite ice hockey’s structure, i.e. sporting logic with promotion and relegation, and close connection to the European Model of Sport.

    In the Finnish elite ice hockey league (SM-liiga) ten of the fifteen clubs was geographically located in the ten most populous municipalities. Five clubs were from municipalities located 11-30 in terms of population. I should be noted that the biggest Finnish elite ice hockey club in economic terms, Jokerit HC from Helsinki, plays since 2014/2015 in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). According to historian Jani Mesikämmen Finnish elite ice hockey began to be concentrated in the larger cities in connection with the ice hockey sport’s emergence (Mesikämmen, 2001).

    Finnish elite ice hockey is by these facts closer to the NHL’s geographical structure (i.e. American Model of Sport) than Swedish elite ice hockey. A feature of the Swedish ice hockey (and the European Model of Sport) is that small clubs in small cities/regions can advance to the elite league (SHL).

    References

    Alm, Martin (2002), Americanitis: Amerika som sjukdom eller läkemedel: svenska berättelser om USA åren 1900–1939 [Americanitis: America as disease or medicine: Swedish stories about the US the years 1900-1939], Diss. Lunds universitet.

    Backman, Jyri (2012), I skuggan av NHL: En organisationsstudie av svensk och finsk elitishockey, licentiatavhandling [In the shade of the NHL: An organizational study of Swedish and Finnish elite ice hockey], Göteborgs universitet, IPD-rapporter/institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 2012 Nr. 4.

    Kidd, Bruce and Macfarlane, John (1972), The Death of Hockey, New press, Toronto.

    Mesikämmen, Jani (2001), ”From Part-time Passion to Big-time Business: The Professionalization of Finnish Ice Hockey” in Howell D. Colin [ed.] (2011), Putting it in Ice, Volume II: Internationalizing ´Canada´s Game´, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary´s University, Halifax.

    Östman, Lars (1996), Från byalagen till Leksand Stars [From a village team to Leksand Stars], Con Scientia, Nacka.

     

  • 2.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Fotbollens avtalsstabilitet – en teoretisk reflektion2009In: Artikelsamling. 2009, Stockholm: SISU idrottsböcker , 2009, no 14, p. 19-32Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Backman, Jyri
    University of Gothenburg.
    I skuggan av NHL: en organisationsstudie av svensk och finsk elitishockey2012Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    I denna licentiatuppsats har svenska elitseriens respektive finska SM-liigas seriemodeller analyserats i ljuset av NHL:s dominans över den globala ishockeyn. Bakgrunden till problemområdet är att företrädarna för svensk respektive finsk elitishockey implementerat olikartade organisatoriska lösningar, trots att de utvecklats i kontexter med likartade sportmodeller och samhällsvillkor. Metodologiskt bygger denna licentiatuppsats på komparativa studier. Som grund för min analys har jag använt mig av dokumentanalys med inslag av rättsdogmatik. Den teoretiska ramen har utgjorts av historikern Martin Alms amerikaniseringsbegrepp samt juristen och forskaren Lars Halgreens analys om amerikaniseringen av europeisk sport. Följande frågeställningar har analyserats: Hur har elitserien respektive SM-liiga utvecklats i relation till den amerikanska respektive europeiska sportmodellen, sedan 1970-talets mitt? Vilka kännetecken kan fastställas för de respektive organisationsmodellerna? På vilka sätt skiljer respektive liknar de varandra samt vilka förutsättningar för parallellverkan kan urskiljas, dels generellt och dels specifikt i en ishockeykontext? Vilka tendenser och inslag kan skönjas i elitserien respektive SM-liiga av det faktum att ishockeyn genom åren både sportsligt och kommersiellt dominerats av NHL? Min studie visar att ishockeysporten är en spjutspets i amerikaniseringen och kommersialiseringen av nordisk sport samt att ishockeyns kommersialisering och professionalisering i någon form leder till en amerikanisering. Studien visar att företrädarna för den finska elitishockeyn haft stor autonomi präglat av förbundssplitting, vilket har sin förklaring i Finlands 1900-talshistoria. Denna självständighet har utgjort grund för den finska elitishockeyns snabba och häftiga utveckling efter andra världskriget. I jämförelse är Sverige präglat av konsensusorientering med Sveriges Riksidrottsförbund som centraladministration och paraplyorganisation för hela den svenska idrotten, även om Svenska Hockeyligan Ab på senare år fått allt större roll inom svensk ishockey. En slutsats är att Finlands högsta ishockeyserie kan anses vara en hybrid mellan den amerikanska respektive europeiska sportmodellen. Sveriges högsta ishockeyserie är å andra sidan närmare sammanlänkad med den europeiska sportmodellen, även om det finns stora kommersiella intressen inom svensk elitishockey.

  • 4.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Idrottens skatteregler: En introduktion2008 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Idrottsjuridik: En introduktion2008 (ed. 3)Book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Idrottsjuridisk rättsfallssamling: Med kommentarer och lästips2006 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Ishockeyns amerikanisering: En studie av svensk och finsk elitishockey2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Backman, Jyri
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    KHL: en rysk ishockeybjörn reser sig ur den sovjetiska ishockeyns ruiner2017In: Idrott, historia och samhälle: Svenska idrottshistoriska föreningens årsskrift. 2017 / [ed] Daniel Alsarve, Svenska Idrottshistoriska Föreningen , 2017, p. 7-30Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates how the proud and successful Soviet/Russian ice hockey has recovered in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991. Since ice hockey was introduced in the Soviet Union, the country became a superpower on the global ice hockey scene, the national team won for example 7 Olympic gold, 22 World Cup and Canada Cup in 1981. The Soviet national ice hockey team – “The Big Red Machine” – was a fierce opponent during the Cold War. After the last Soviet leader and its first and last executive president Mikhail Gorbachev initiated glasnost and perestroika in the wake of a decaying empire would change the Soviet Union and the world. And ice hockey. The proud and successful Soviet ice hockey was ravaged. After Russia failed in several international ice hockey tournaments, president Vladimir Putin decided that it was time to reintroduce Russian ice hockey where it belongs. The result: Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) was established in 2008.

  • 9.
    Backman, Jyri
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics. Malmö University.
    Multi arenas in Swedish elite ice hockey: a tax challenge?2017In: The 25th EASM Conference, 5–8 September 2017, Bern and Magglingen, Switzerland, Challenges and Developments of Sport Organisations, book of abstracts / [ed] Tim Ströbel, Tim Breitbarth, Hippolyt Kempf, Claas Christian Germelmann & Siegfried Nagel, Bern: University of Bern , 2017, p. 302-303Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background/problem/issue

    Swedish ice hockey is by tradition built on the principles of the European Model of Sport (pyramid structure, non-profit, utility maximization, youth fostering, and promotion and relegation etc.) and governed by the Swedish Sport Confederation. Corporation is however allowed since 1999, i.e. sport plc. But, unlike business life generally the Swedish Sport Confederation don’t allow full corporation, there is a so called 51-percent barrier, which means that a non-profit sport club must own the majority of votes in its sport plc. (Malmsten & Pallin, 2005). With inspiration from National Hockey League (NHL), i.e. Americanization of sport, new modern multi arenas has mushroomed in Swedish elite ice hockey during the first decade of the new millennium (Lundberg, 2009). These new multi arenas has not only created better sporting facilities. They have also created new sources for revenues and establishment of (sport) business groups. Generally, in Swedish elite ice hockey a non-profit sport club is majority (sole) owner of a multi arena throw a real estate company.

    To understand some of the legal challenges that arises for clubs in Swedish elite ice hockey, and their plc.’s, take-off must be taken in the Swedish (2005: 551) Companies Act. According to Companies Act (Chap. 1, §11) a limited liability company is a parent company if the limited company owns more than 50 percent of the votes or shares in the subsidiary. A socalled mother-daughter relationship, also called a genuine busi- ness group. Similar rules are contained in the Swedish (1995: 1554) Annual Accounts Act (Chap. 1, §4). If the requisites is not met, instead, a spurious (sport) business group arises. This means directly that a Swed- ish sport business group is a spurious business group, due to the fact that non-profit sport club’s must own the majority of votes, i.e. the non-profit sport club is parent company. This means from a Swedish corporate and tax law perspective that group contributions can’t be made (Swedish Income Tax Act [1999: 1229], chap. 22 and 35). The reason why Swedish sport business groups are not allowed to do group contributions is that corporate income would avoid taxation. In addition, competition would be distorted against other business forms with other owners (Ågren, 2011).

    Two Swedish elite ice hockey clubs that faced the Swedish Tax Agency’s interest in light of this intricate corporate and tax law area is Leksands IF and Modo Hockey Club. The Swedish Tax Authority’s interest were primary based on the question of withdrawal of assets. As a consequence, these two club’s real estate companies have been convicted for withdrawal of assets for the 2006/2007 season with 2.4 million and 1.96 million Swedish crowns. The main problem and research task question is hereby to analyze how the organization and regulation of Swedish elite ice hockey and establishment of new multi arenas creates tax challenges.

    Theory

    Theory is not necessary for analyzing Swedish jurisprudence. However, Americanization is a valuable theory to understand the commercialization of Swedish elite ice hockey and the growth of new multi arenas, i.e. American influence and culture is received/imported/forced to a country (Alm, 2002).

    Method

    The study is based on jurisprudence and document analysis, primarily of Swedish legislation, case law and preparatory work. Also, publications about Swedish elite ice hockey and the American and European Model of Sport has been used. From a jurisprudence perspective, the Swedish Company Act and Income Tax Act, preparatory work and two indicative judgements from Appeal Court in Sundsvall has been analyzed. By analyzing these legal documents important knowledge is achieved from a corporate and tax law perspec- tive.

    Result

    Swedish corporate and tax law can never open up for group contributions for Swedish sport business groups without tax consequences even though sport plc’s has been established. This also applies to sub- sidiaries. The transition from the non-profit sector to the fully taxable corporate sphere has been driven by financial reasons and international influences. By incorporating the well-known benefits of public limited companies and combining these with international influences, representatives of Swedish elite ice hockey want to be competitive. Swedish Corporate Act and Income Tax Act creates challenges for Swedish sport with the 51percent regulation, which can result in unpleasant tax consequences in case of unconsidered re- structuring. This means that international influences from a Swedish corporate law and tax law perspective are not automatically transferable and applicable to Swedish elite sport. Representatives for Swedish elite ice hockey clubs should for this reason work for the removing the 51-percent regulation (i.e. full corpora- tion). Group contributions can then be made without tax consequences.

    References

    Ågren, B. (2011). Beskattning av idrottskoncern [Taxation of Swedish sport business groups]. Skattenytt [Tax news, peer review], 254.

    Alm, M. (2002). Americanitis: Amerika som sjukdom eller läkemedel: svenska berättelser om USA åren 1900–1939 [Americanitis: America as disease or medicine: Swedish stories about the US the years 1900–1939] (Doctoral Dissertation). Lunds universitet.

    Kammarrätten i Sundsvall [Appeal Court in Sundsvall]. (2013). Mål nr. 1229–11 and Mål nr. 1594–11, 3436–11.

    Lundberg, H. (2009). Kommunikativt entreprenörskap: underhållningsidrott som totalupplevelse före, un- der och efter formeringen av den svenska upplevelseindustrin 1999–2008 [Communicative entrepre- neurship: Entertainment sport as experience before, under and after the formation of the Swedish entertainment industry 1999–2008] (Doctoral Dissertation). Växjö universitet.

    Malmsten, K. & Pallin, C. (2005). Idrottens föreningsrätt [Sport association]. Stockholm: Norstedts. 

  • 10.
    Backman, Jyri
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics. Malmö University.
    The Finnish (and Nordic) ice hockey map is redrawn: Jokerit moves to KHL2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background/problem/issue

    “Jokerit to KHL 2014”: this was the biggest sports-related news in Finland summer 2013. On a well-attended press conference in Helsinki Jokerits owner Mr. Harry “Hjallis” Harkimo informed that he decided to move Jokerit from Helsinki to the Russian ice hockey league Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) season 2014/2015. KHL was established “[t]o promote the successful development of hockey in Russia and other countries in Europe and Asia” and has clubs from several European counties; example Belarus, Croatia, Latvia, Czech republic and since 2014 Finland.

    The sporting and economic magnitude of Jokerits move to KHL should be borne in mind that Jokerit is one of Finland's most successful ice hockey clubs in sporting terms and one of Finland's largest ice hockey clubs in financial terms. According the Finnish journalist Kaj Kunnas at YLE Mr. Harkimos reason to move Jokerit is easy to understand: "Money, money, money." In terms of Americanization we can speak of profit-maximization à la American model (major leagues) has become a part of Finnish ice hockey.

    The main problem and research task is to analyze Jokerits move to KHL considering this was a huge step away from the traditional organization of Finnish (and Nordic) ice hockey and sports in general.

    Method

    Document analysis and interviews with Jokerits owner Mr. Harkimo, the chairman of the Finnish ice hockey federation Kalervo Kummola and stakeholders of Swedish ice hockey (Nordic aspect).

    Theory

    Americanization. The term Americanization means of tradition that American influence and culture is received/imported/forced to a country (ice hockey).

    Result

    Mr. Harkimo has moved Jokerit to KHL to develop the business of European ice hockey despite the traditional organization (sport model) of Finnish and Nordic ice hockey. 

  • 11.
    Carlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Malmö University.
    Backman, Jyri
    Malmö University.
    The blend of normative uncertainty and commercial immaturity in Swedish ice hockey2015In: Sport in Society: Cultures, Media, Politics, Commerce, ISSN 1743-0437, E-ISSN 1743-0445, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 290-312Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By describing and analysing normative uncertainties and the commercial immaturity in Swedish ice hockey (Swedish Hockey League/Swedish Ice Hockey Association), this article focuses on the tension and dialectics in Swedish sport; increasingly greater commercial attempts (i.e. entrepreneurship, ‘Americanization’, multi-arenas, innovations and public limited companies) have to be mixed with a generally non-profit making organization (e.g. the Swedish Sports Confederation) and its traditional values of health, democracy and youth sports and fosterage. In this respect, the elite ice hockey clubs are situated in a legal culture of two parallel norm systems: the tradition of selfregulation in sport and in civil law (e.g. commercial law). Indeed, the incoherent blend of idealism and commercialism in Swedish elite hockey appears to be fertile ground for hazardous (sports) management and indebtedness. This mix of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘immaturity’ has given rise to various financial trickeries and negligence, which have subsequently developed into legal matters. Consequently, the legal system appears to have become a playground for Swedish ice hockey. This article reflects on the reasons and the rationale in this frictional development by focusing on a legal case that comes under the Business Reorganisation Act. The analysis reveals support for a ‘soft’ juridification process in Swedish ice hockey in order to handle the charging tension of the two parallel norm systems.

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