This is the first book to look closely at the concept of ‘risk’ in elite and professional football from a social scientific perspective. Drawing on the wider sociological, criminological and management literature on risk, it shows how football helps us to understand global risk more generally in present-day society.
The book explores how attitudes to risk have shaped the modern football business, and identifies those risks that pose a threat to the sustainability of football in the future. It draws upon the work of theorists including Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens and Michel Foucault, as well as digital media sources and policy documents, and covers a range of topics, cases and themes including political, environmental and terrorism risks, technologies, the governance of fans and risk resistance.
In the context of the social, globalized and commercialized realm of football, as well as a global pandemic that has had a profound influence on attitudes to risk, the book argues that modern societies’ preoccupation with risk has transformed the ways in which modern football is played on the pitch, organized off the pitch, covered in the media and attended by fans.
Including an extended case study of the 2026 World Cup, to be held in the USA, Mexico and Canada, this is a thought-provoking read for any student, researcher or policy-maker with an interest in football, sport, events, sociology, criminology or risk management.
Table of Contents
2. Globalization, Theorizing Risk and the Risk Society
3. Between Environmental and Political Risks: The World Cup, ‘Green Legacies’ and Protests
4. Crime Control, Pre-Crime and Managing Risk: Trends, Technologies and Examples from Europe
5. Risk Perceptions, Dangerousness and the Media
6. Conclusions and Directions
Jan Andre Lee Ludvigsen is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics with Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Broadly, Jan’s main research areas are within the social and political study of sport, and his research on sport mega-events, security, risk and fandom has been published in journals such as the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Journal of Consumer Culture, Leisure Studies and Journal of Sport and Social Issues. He has also authored Sport Mega-Events, Security and Covid-19: Securing the Football World (Routledge, 2022).