The politics of football in an era of regulatory ‘crisis’: the last bastion of ‘club-regulation’?

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The financial crisis that hit the UK in 2008 brought the debate on regulation into sharp relief. For many, it marked the end of one of the last vestiges of ‘club regulation’: an elitist, secretive, informal practice of governance, which privileges self-regulation and cooperation over intervention and sanctioning. This paper examines the governance of football in this era of regulatory crisis. In particular, it examines why the domain of football has been able to resist challenges to its self-regulatory character despite its increasing politicization and the incursion of the state into other hitherto self-governing arenas. This paper argues that the current ‘crisis’ in football should not be analysed in isolation from other areas of social, economic and political life. Rather than being divorced from these other spheres, the problems in football can also be seen as symptomatic of broader crisis of British politics – in particular a crisis of ‘club regulation’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-321
Number of pages15
JournalSoccer and society
Issue number2-3
Early online date23 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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