Football, Fans and Finance Symposium, University of Manchester

Friday 17th May, 10.00 – 16.30
Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester

Manchester City’s players and supporters celebrate on the pitch after their 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers at The Etihad stadium in Manchester, north-west England on May 13, 2012. Manchester City won the game 3-2 to secure their first title since 1968. This is the first time that the Premier league title has been decided on goal-difference, Manchester City and Manchester United both finishing on 89 points. Photo: Paul Ellis.

This workshop will explore the implications of the emergence of English Premier League football as a major entertainment industry. Increasingly global revenue sources within football create new spaces and opportunities for ‘value skimming’ by various actors: players, owners, managers, and agents/intermediaries, which produce new kinds of tensions between the club and its surrounding community and fan-base. This tension has intensified as the perceived links between clubs and local communities are seemingly threatened by the clubs’ re-orientation towards global markets and increasingly globally dispersed models of ownership. The recent takeovers of Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, and other clubs have been fraught with tensions between fans and owners. Many fan responses can be understood through the idea of ‘contest’, where takeovers amplify and sharpen definitional distinctions between fans and owners about ‘what the club is’ – its purpose, function, obligations and for whom it is ultimately run. This workshop welcomes debate on the way in which owners and fans summon different imaginaries in an attempt to assert or (re)define the moral purpose of the club.

The workshop will include a panel discussion with Andy Burnham MP, Andy Green (Andersred blog) and Jim White (The Daily Telegraph). Presenters include: Adam Brown (MMU and FC United of Manchester Board member), Christine Cooper (University of Strathclyde), John Hughson (International Football Institute, UCLan), and Pete Millward (Liverpool John Moores).

Cost and registration details: £20 (includes refreshments and lunch); £10 concessions.

For further details please contact:

Workshop organisers:
Debra Howcroft, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester Adam Leaver, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester Keir Martin, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

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