Significant Issues And Challenges Of Football Cultural Studies Essay

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In this assignment the issues and challenges that will be presented will reflect current and popular debates within football at this moment in time. The main purpose of the assignment will be to get opinions of mine about popular issues in football for example globalisation of the sport from the past twenty years and how hooliganism may have damaged the way football is thought upon. In the assignment books, journals and web pages will be used to provide me with extensive and current information about my chosen issues. For the issue on globalisation of football over the past twenty years there will be various theories and concepts from experienced professionals to why football has become so globalised so quickly. The issue of hooliganism within football has been a major talking point since the 13th century where football already was associated with violence medieval football and the lack of rules and regulations. But over the last fifty years there have been cases of hooliganism which have led to many theorists and approaches been made and it is these crucial and key points that will be critically discussed.

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Globalisation over the past twenty years has changed a lot we have seen a dramatic influx of foreign owners into the premiership and football leagues this has changed football in such a way that now football teams have become more like businesses instead of sports teams. Roman Abramovich a Russian billionaire took control of Chelsea football club in June 2003 this was closely followed by the Glazer family taking control of Manchester football club eventually between 2003 and 2005 these two very high profile takeovers sparked a foreign owner contingent and currently today over half of the clubs currently in the premier division has one.

It's not difficult to understand why there has been a sudden invasion of foreign owners into the British clubs because football is an incredibly attractive market for investors this is shown by the global turnover of football in 2001 which was estimated at £250 billion (Giulianotti and Robertson 2004). With football generating this amount of money it has become an extremely attractive market for wealthy foreign owners to buy clubs in the premiership. From 2007 with the new overseas television deal in place which worked out at a massive £2.7 billion for three seasons clubs who win the premiership are likely to receive in excess of over £50 million.

With clubs having the opportunity to win prize money like this it's clear to see why foreign owners are investing heavily. Globalisation of football in the UK has increased severely in the past 20-15 years and no more so than the previous 10 years with high premier league officials having views like this "We have a cosmopolitan approach to players and a cosmopolitan approach to ownership and that is paying off" (Richard Scudamore Premier League chief executive) there's no reason so many foreign owners are in charge of British clubs. Having too many foreign owners in charge of British sides could end up destroying the game because with foreign owners on the increase and them all having the same objectives to win plus they want success instantly, it will leave clubs abandoning their youth development policies, thus reducing the amount of home grown talent. Also In the long term this will dramatically affect the English national side chances of winning a major trophy.

Over the past twenty years there have been many changes off the football field as well as on it due to the globalisation of football. By looking back over the past few decades it is clear to see that no major changes have taken place to the rules of association football. The offside rule has been tweaked a bit, and there have been changes regarding goalkeepers handling pass-backs from their own team, but these have not essentially altered the flow of the game. On the other hand some of the rules governing the running of football have changed, and have made it easier for players to move between teams.

In 1995, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman. This is now popularly known as the 'Bosman Ruling'. This ruling made clear that when a contract of a player had ran out, the club was no longer entitled to a transfer fee, and the player was free to sign for anyone who wanted him. Because of this ruling a limitation on the number of 'foreign' players was also lifted. Previously, a club could only field three foreign players in UEFA competitions. But now in modern day football a club can field a full team of EU nationals. Also the ruling gave way to clubs been able to sign players from non-EU countries, subject to the work permit laws of the country, and domestic league rules.

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This change in the rules has made it a lot easier for players to move clubs, and while this increased job mobility is good for certain players, it does make it that much more difficult for young local players to break through into first teams as this is affecting home grown talent. It is also one of the reasons why players' wages and transfer fees have risen over the past decade. With this ruling in place clubs no longer have a strong hold on their players, and therefore need to keep the player happy at the club by making it more attractive for them to stay and/or sign longer contracts.

Globalisation of football and sport in general has been happening for centuries Giulianotti and Robertson's work on globalisation of football is widely known and especially Robertson's five general phases of globalization. Robertson's five phases germinal, incipient, take-off, struggle for hegemony and uncertainty take you through the different stages of globalisation from the early the early fifteenth century to the modern day.

Germinal was the first phase of globalisation and took place place from the early fifteenth century through to the mid-18th century this was known as football's pre history. During this period there were many disputes over the origins of football due to different version that had been created. Tsu-chu, played in China between the second and third Centuries BC was first but we also had the Japanese game of kemari which was practised from at least the 12 Century AD and the Florentine game of calcio has been played, particularly by those with social status, since at least the sixteenth Century (Goldblatt 2006: 5-9). This allowed football to be reinvented to suit a variety of markets.

The second phase of globalisation was Incipient and this phase was the foundation of modern football and took place from the mid-18th century to 1870's. This phase was heavily involved with the 'games revolution' that took place from 1830's onwards to reduce violence and rebellious acts by pupils. This allowed football to be played at schools even though rule-differences remained over the game of football played by schools; for example Eton and Harrow banned catching and running with the ball, unlike Rugby. This phase also included the creation of the football association (FA) in 1863. The FA came about when undergraduates at Cambridge tried to unify the rules in the mid-to-late 1840s and those rules would finally be accepted in 1863 At 'London's Freemason's Tavern representatives from 12 clubs and schools from the London area met to bang out a code for the game'.

The third phase take-off marks the electrification of globalization, taking place from the 1870s to the mid-1920s. Within this time period football spread to Europe and South

America, it also spread to 'Europeanized' parts of Africa, Asia and North America. This particular phase allowed football to be played all over the world and became very popular where ever it was played. In Britain by the mid-1920s, football was the dominant sport and league crowds more than trebled between 1889 and 1914 to an average 23,000 (Tranter

1998: 17). Compare this to European football were football crowds and stadium development were smaller than the UK they still achieved big crowds for example, by 1926, Milan's leading stadium only held around 35,000, while in Madrid the capacity was nearer 15,000 (Inglis 1990: 11,210). More impressively, in France, the 1924 Olympic football final was held in the packed 60,000 Colombes stadium (Mason 1995: 31).

The fourth phase struggle-for-hegemony spans the mid-1920s to the late 1960s. Between these two dates football's offside rule was amended by the IFAB (International Football Association Board), making defensive play more difficult and increasing goal-scoring opportunities. All football nations were obliged to respond to the new rule. This phase was also responsible for FIFA preparing its own international competition the World Cup. The first World Cup was hosted and won by Uruguay in 1930 and included only 13 nations. Because this competition was a huge success with over 90,000 fans at the final FIFA made the tournament a fixed quadrennial event with further tournaments in 1934 and 1938 held in France and Italy.

The fifth, uncertainty phase spans the late 1960s up to the year 2000. Within these dates various things happened in the world of football, FIFA's membership rose rapidly from 136 members in 1970 to 204 by 2000 (more than the United Nations). This Growth was largely down to 'post-colonial independence in Africa and Asia, post-Communist revolutions and nationalist struggles in Eastern Europe and Asia, and greater integration of small Pacific and Caribbean states' (Giulianotti and Robertson 2009). The commercial reinvention of European football during the 1990s was viewed by some critics as exercising the social exclusion of working class fans, through high ticket-prices and growing intolerance of casual participation by fans (cf. Conn 1997; Wagg 2004; Giulianotti 2007). This also brings in global mass media via space technology (satellite television, etc.) which has changed the way fans watch their team some people on T.V instead of attending live games.

Fandom and loyal fans

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Two groups of domestic fans form the bedrock support of clubs; the first "the

diehards" supported their club through thick and thin, retained season tickets

even when the club were not doing well on the pitch; the second, whilst similar in

profile, were similarly active in their support but seemed more negatively linked to

the club - it could be this group whose frustration may lead them to criticise

players, management, board and referee - as a means of exhibiting their

concern about the club.

The third group, the young fans, were more socially than emotionally connected

to the club and showed a high interest in the identity aspects of support such as

wearing team colours. The fourth group, "the Professionals," were often no

longer - or perhaps had never been - in the region where the club was based

and tended not to be season ticket holders. They did, however, attend matches

as much as they were able - geography and ticket availability permitting. They

were also extremely active in their support of the club via the Internet, satellite

TV, newspapers and demonstrated their own brand of loyalty in avid search for

information. "E Loyals" exhibit similar behaviour except that geography often

means that these fans never attend matches. Some were based in international

markets, although their roots were predominantly in the UK.

These different profiles of support pose the question of which fans are the most

loyal? The first two of these are certainly the most active in their "team support"

as this focuses mainly on match attendance and active participation in club

events. They are extremely high in the emotional elements of support. Emotional

links, history and symbols and concern with organization were also strongly felt,

however, by other groups including the Professionals and E Loyals - who are

sometimes dismissed by fellow fans as being "less loyal" for not being at every

(or in some cases any) matches. Are they less loyal? No one wishes to demean

the support of bedrock fans, who are the mainstay of club support and whose

wish to be at every match is a major consideration in debating any globalization.

There are, however, other types of supporters who play a role in the financial

development of their clubs and whose support may be no less intense.

Assessing loyalty depends on the definition of support. Professionals and E

Loyals' emotional links to their club and participation in aspects of support other

than match attendance is equally - and sometimes more - strong than that of

bedrock fans. This type of support may be similar to that exhibited by the

international fan base for Premier League clubs.