Sports Bag without Bottom: Research on Budgetary Spending in Sport

Posted on
June 2014 – June 2015

BIRN Serbia – past programme

Since 2009 under the umbrella of “Eye on Public Finances” programme, BIRN Serbia is conducting several projects related to public spending and monitoring of transparency of public finances.


Over the years, BIRN Serbia has developed specific methodology in tracking budgetary spending by combining media reporting and advocacy activities. Accessing the data on public spending using the provisions of FOI law, BIRN is launching investigative journalistic reporting which then drives other advocacy and watchdog actions.

The same methodology will be applied again, in conducting the research on budgetary financing of sport. BIRN will take closer look into these budgetary practices, on both national and local level, particularly on financing of sport clubs and sport associations. Besides two journalists working in BIRN Serbia, in this project 4 external journalists will be engaged, covering the field work in South, Southwest Serbia and Vojvodina.

Series of at least five investigative articles will be published on BIRN’s platforms, and Balkan Insight, while promotion will be organized via social networks. Articles will be offered to national and local media for republishing and initiating their own stories and reports.

It expected that project contributes to increase of public knowledge on sport financing and that it will provoke the reaction of authorities to make improvements of the future practices.   

The project is financed by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Information Sheet

Main Objective:
Overall goal of this project is put spotlight and introduce public to practices of budgetary spending in sport and sport clubs, on both national and local level.
Specific Objectives:
  • Contribute to transparency of public finances through mapping the mechanisms of budgetary spending in sport
  • Uplift the quality of media production by publishing and promoting series of investigative articles via Internet platforms and social networks
  • Raise awareness of public and provoke reaction of the authorities introducing them to budgetary practices and possible corruption cases in the financing of sport.

Main Activities:

  • Production of investigative articles, which encompasses formation of journalistic team, gathering of documentation (using FOI law), analyses of data and documents, writing storis, editorial and publishing on BIRN web platforms.
  • Promotion of investigative articles, which includes publishing on and other BIRN platforms and promotion on BIRN’s Facebook and Tweeter official accounts. Articles will be offered to other media outlets for republishing and initiating their own stories.

Target Groups:

  • Public administration / Ministries,
  • local self-governments,
  • sport clubs and sport associations;
  • media, journalists, media organizations;
  • broader public.