This study investigates the presence and impact of customer-based racial discrimination in Europe’s top five professional soccer leagues. While prior research in European sports has focused mainly on wages or nationalities rather than race, this paper employs a market test approach to assess the influence of racial preferences on stadium attendance. The study analyzes data from the 2008/09 to 2018/19 seasons of the European Big-5 soccer leagues and finds evidence of customer-based discrimination, which varies in degree and nature across the five countries and leagues. The research addresses a significant gap in the European sports economics literature, which has been extensively investigated in North American sports since the 1980s.
KEYWORDS: customer-based discrimination; stadium attendance; professional soccer; diversity-related hiring decisions; racism in sports