Background and Context:
Similar to many public figures, professional football players face a common dilemma, balancing security and privacy with the interests of fans and the public’s fascination with them, often as endorsers or active social media users seeking the limelight. Information about the wealth of professional footballers is readily available in the media. Debates over the appropriateness or social utility of extravagant earnings by sports stars are frequent and are accompanied by high-profile public statements. Threats against players, as well as actions against officials, player agents, or coaches, are recurring issues.
Through FMEA-based analyses and empirical evidence from qualitative and quantitative surveys, the study highlights clear shortcomings. Overall, it is evident that security experts often assess aspects of sports security differently from other stakeholders. Stadium security, based on the “Ten-Point Plan for Increased Security in Football” by the DFB and DFL, is generally rated as “good.” In the realm of travel security (away games, tournaments), significant opportunities for improvement are recognized, with security officers perceiving a higher need for action than the actual beneficiaries. The most critical evaluations are received for perceived levels of security when it comes to the private lives of players and officials.
Approaches to Enhance Security Infrastructure in Professional Football/Soccer:
The foundations for personal security in professional football appear to have been largely implicit, unsystematic, and in the form of general guidelines until now. Personal security, however, should be regarded as a relevant and independent discipline within sports security and be established as such. Substantial value can be unlocked through recognized quality assurance instruments that are employed for process-oriented security management. The study presents recommendations for 24 systematic approaches or individual measures from both a strategic and tactical perspective.