European football has undergone a dramatic economic and social transformation during the last twenty years. The pan-European Champions League has led to greater interaction amongst fans and impacted fan identity (King, 2000). In additional the economic transformation has impacted the relationship between the fans and the clubs they support. The proposed research seeks to understand how fans are politicising, and interacting with each other across Europe. Fan groups from across Europe have politicised in various ways in response to these commercial changes (King, 1997; Nash, 2000; Testa, 2010; Millward, 2011; Merkel, 2012; Doidge, 2013a). They have also initiated projects combating racism and homophobia. This has intensified in relation to the global economic crisis, where European states reduce their welfare expenditure. This research takes a pan-European and comparative approach to understand fan activism.
The project runs from September 2014 – May 2016
This research has the following objectives:
Football fans are facing wide-ranging and sustained challenges to their means of expression. These consist of regressive policing, sanctions from governing bodies and restrictions from clubs. Fans are sharing ideas and tactics in order to challenge these restrictions, as well as lobbying national and European federations and governments.
Dr Mark Doidge
To follow on completion of the project.
Football Supporters Europe