A lack of ‘sustainability thinking’ is evident at the heart of many of the problems that football faces today; from the huge amounts of money that clubs seem compelled to spend on what are often short-term gains – and the speculation, debt and market-centred ideology that goes with it – to the not unrelated deep disenchantment experienced by many football fans for a game that they still, despite it all, remain determined to love.
Sustainability here is more broadly conceptualised than focusing on environmental issues. It encompasses social and economic sustainability, albeit with a critical eye on the interdependent, often contradictory, relationship between what the United Nations regards as the three ‘pillars’ of sustainability (environmental, social and economic).
Fittingly, this book is the result of an international collaboration between an interdisciplinary network of academics and football industry practitioners, brought together by the Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities (CSFC), based at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. The critical insights collected here focus not just on football’s problems, but also how clubs, authorities, players and fans in a range of local contexts are positively tackling the challenges of surviving and thriving in the contemporary global game.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Sport & Society.
Table of Contents
Introduction: ‘Thinking long and wide’: which communities have a future within the global game?
Chris Porter, Anthony May and Annabel Kiernan
1. One rule for one: the impact of Champions League prize money and Financial Fair Play at the bottom of the European club game
2. Chao Amigos! Hello Thailand: football, migration and sustainability in Thailand
Carolina Brill and Chuenchanok Nin Siriwat
3. Football clubs as symbols of regional identities
4. Football and community empowerment: how FC Sankt Pauli fans organize to influence
5. Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls: anatomy of an alternative sports club
6. Ten years of Supporters Trust ownership at Exeter City AFC: an overview
7. Fighting strategic homophobia in football
8. Sustaining health improvement activities delivered in English professional football clubs using evaluation: a short communication
Andy Pringle, Daniel Parnell, Zoe Rutherford, Jim McKenna, Stephen Zwolinsky and Jackie Hargreaves
9. Football and its communities: the celebration of Manchester United FC’s Ability Suite
Juan Luis Paramio-Salcines, Phil Downs and John Grady
Chris Porter is based at the Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. His research explores the links between football fans, class-consciousness, neoliberal ideology and globalisation.
Anthony May is based at the School of Marketing and Management, Coventry University, UK. His research explores the relationship of sport with a range of social and political issues, including austerity, sustainability, political campaigning, as well as with other forms of culture.
Annabel Kiernan is based at the Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her research interests cover public sector reform and the role of football in local service delivery and community identity.