Numbers and Narratives : Sport, History and Economics book cover
1st Edition

Numbers and Narratives
Sport, History and Economics

ISBN 9780367142353
Published December 19, 2018 by Routledge
192 Pages

SAVE ~ $10.59
was $52.95
USD $42.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This volume argues for a more quantitative, economic and theoretical approach to sports history. The author notes that sport can have peculiar economics as in no other industry do rival businesses have to cooperate to produce a sellable output. He also demonstrates, via a case study of early gate-money football in Scotland, that sports producers were not always seeking profits, and often put winning games and trophies ahead of making money. Another analysis examines how industrialisation affected sport, how sport became an industry in its own right and how the workplace became a major provider of sports facilities. A look at third sector economics highlights how the popularity of football provided an ideal vehicle for charity fundraising. The book observes that most sports participants are amateurs but at the elite level the paid player has a key role, and this is assessed through case studies of the jockey and the golf professional. Finally, the author discusses and evaluates various theories relating to the historical development of the sports club.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics.

Table of Contents

Preface  Part I: Introduction  1. Count me in: reflections on a career as a sports historian  2. The power of numbers: a plea for more quantitative sports history  Part II: Sport, economics and the economy  3. Scottish football before 1914: an economic analysis of a gate-money sport  4. Sport, industry and industrial sport in Britain before 1914: review and revision  5. ‘It is pleasing to know that football can be devoted to charitable purposes’: British football and charity 1870–1918  Part III: The sports professional  6. Still crazy after all those years: continuity in a changing labour market for professional jockeys  7. Successful workers or exploited labour? Golf professionals and professional golfers in Britain 1888–1914  Part IV: Developing theory  8. Empiricism, theoretical concepts and the development of the British golf club before 1914  9. Playing together: towards a theory of the British sports club in history

View More



Wray Vamplew is Emeritus Professor of Sports History at the University of Stirling and Visiting Research Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. His research has gained awards from the North American Society for Sport History and the Australian Sports Commission. He is currently working on an international economic history of sport.