British Football and Social Exclusion (Sport in the Global by Stephen Wagg

By Stephen Wagg

This publication takes inventory of British soccer before everything of the twenty-first century. it's written by means of a variety of involved lecturers and writers, all of whom have an lively dating with the modern soccer global. The ebook assesses the alterations that experience happened in lots of parts of soccer tradition and the political and educational debates that experience followed those changes.English soccer particularly, it sort of feels, is 'fat city'. The Premiership, now 8 years outdated, has, through satellite tv for pc tv, turn into a globalised phenomenon: there are Liverpool supporters in Bangladesh, Chelsea lovers in sub-Saharan Africa and Manchester United fans around the globe. Grounds are complete. premium soccer draws humans to bars and pubs in large numbers. Hooliganism looks a specific thing of the previous. each person turns out to like soccer and/or to help a staff. The British soccer media are usually euphoric of their rendering of latest soccer culture.However, the participants to this booklet argue that the seriously commodified, PR-driven and cartelised British soccer international, with which such a lot of modern politicians and different public figures rush to spot themselves, has both created, exacerbated or persisted to disregard severe difficulties of social exclusion difficulties of sophistication and group, race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality and age.

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However, here as elsewhere, continuities are often concealed and it would be a mistake to regard the huge changes which have undoubtedly occurred in the 1990s as necessarily permanent. At the time of writing there is huge concern about the future value of TV rights and talk of a ‘football recession’ (Guardian, 11 January 2002). Furthermore, the lack of ‘value’ of clubs listed on the stock market may indicate that capital’s ‘colonisation’ of football remains unfulfilled. In some respects it is remarkable what has survived, not least in England a unique, four-league professional structure of ninety-two clubs.

Football cannot be expected to mitigate the effects of the market; on the contrary, it is governed by dictates of that same market. A winner-takes-all arrangement, in football as elsewhere, means what it says. To adapt a phrase popular among British sociologists in the much-derided 1970s, football cannot compensate for society. British football and social exclusion 20 Notes 1 I’d like to thank Tim Crabbe, Peter Golding, Stephen Hopkins, Jonathan Horner, Paul Norcross, Neil Taylor, Rogan Taylor and Ian Wood for help in putting this chapter together.

The sports journalist Jim White wrote recently about the struggle of Wimbledon supporters in southwest London to prevent the club from moving to Milton Keynes. Describing how, in 2002, Wimbledon supporters, rather than countenance the relocation, set up their own club, AFC Wimbledon, in nearby Kingston, White writes: The story…involves stubbornness, betrayal and—naturally enough— money. But it is also a morality tale, one that suggests there is still an area of life in which big business interests have failed to bulldoze the little guy.

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