The aim of this study was to identify the soccer clubs model of organisation, their culture, goals and answers to the demands of the surrounding environment. Three Portuguese soccer clubs were analysed, in different contexts, one professional club (PC) – from the soccer national league – and two amateurs (AC) of regional level (one of rural area RAC, other of urban area UAC). The criteria to select the clubs were: a) belong to the same district, b) experience in collaboration with research studies. A documental analysis of the clubs was performed. Semi-structured interviews, with presidents in AC and with the manager of youth specialisation department in PC were made with audio record. The interviews were transcribed to text and then a content analysis was used. The PC is more formalised, specialised, complex and orientated to performance operating concepts. It has more specialised personal, with specific formation in the area of sport or education, and promotes coaches continuity in the club. The volunteers in PC that work with young athletes receive some compensation (eg, monetary, merchandising, tickets). The RAC and UAC have simple organisational structures, with a more familiar environment, informal relations and direct and lateral communication inside the organisation. The UAC have more sports services and protocols with the city council than RAC. The findings about organisational structure, human resources and goals agree with previous studies. Sport managers need to consider that organisational structure influences team performance and athletic achievement. Since the AC show less complexity and higher volunteer involvement in all hierarchy chains, it is expected they have an important role to provide informal education, promote active citizenship, and sense of community and confidence, as well as a greater pleasure. Both the PC and AC have volunteer involvement of the athletes' parents, which can create and influence the culture and policies of the organisation.
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