A sociological investigation in to the dynamic power balance between the Football League and Football Association: Using the Football League Cup as a window for exploration
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AbstractThis thesis suggests that the Football League Cup was introduced as part of a wider social policy to challenge the Football Association’s position in power. Therefore, testing the figurational perspective and, using the Football League Cup as a window for exploration, this thesis has investigated the dynamic power relationship between the Football Association and Football League and, later, on to the emerging relationship with international football governing bodies – FIFA and UEFA. Therefore, this investigation has; (1) Traced the development, sociologically, of the Football League Cup and; (2) investigated the fluctuating relationship between differing football governing bodies. Such analysis is unique in that academics have failed to recognise the sociological significance in that football is the only sport in England governed by two separate authorities and, as such, this is the first dedicated investigation of its kind. Furthermore, this is the first sociological study to examine England’s ‘secondary’ football cup competition – the Football League Cup. Documentary analysis was the chosen research method for investigation. Specifically, to investigate the controversy surrounding the Football League Cup, newspaper analysis was conducted using two online resources – The Times Digital Archive and NewsBank Info Web. To help understand the shifting power balance between the FA and Football League, research took place at the FA headquarters in Soho, London – here, a systematic analysis of FA minutes and literature within the FA library took place. This thesis has identified that the Football League Cup was introduced as part of an ulterior motive to challenge the position of the Football Association. In fact, this dissertation highlights that the FA have been in conflict with other associations since before their advent in 1863. Furthermore, this investigation has contradicted the claim, made by some, that the Football League Cup is ‘pointless’ or ‘worthless’. In fact, this investigation has found that the Football League cup has proven to be extremely useful to the lesser sides that have a second opportunity to draw a ‘bigger’ club (as they already have this opportunity in the FA Cup) and, also, the tournament is an important asset to the Football League who were able to use the competition as a ‘tool’ for negotiation. Nevertheless, although the FA has been challenged throughout their existence, the organisation remains the number one authority for English professional football, formally speaking.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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‘If you haven’t got the contacts… you have no choice’: A figurational examination of unpaid work in football scouting in men’s professional football in EnglandGriffiths, Jacob; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2022-03-09)Association football has been viewed as an industry with considerable lucrative career prospects; however, this has not prevented the use of unpaid staff throughout football in the UK. There has been increasing academic research regarding the professionalisation and commercialisation of football, yet there has been little acknowledgement of the role of those working in football in an unpaid capacity. Therefore, this paper examines the culture of unpaid work in football scouting, by exploring the motivations of 12 unpaid scouts at professional clubs, from a figurational perspective. Our findings suggest that scouts want to work in the industry because of their ‘love of the game’, in a ‘quest for excitement’ in their career. Unpaid work was in the pursuit of experience and contacts, the latter of which was highly valued in the industry. Football clubs are enclosed figurations and the scouts placed importance on developing interdependent social relations to gain entry to the industry, demonstrating how football may be perceived nepotistic. The likelihood of gaining a paid role directly from an unpaid position was low and therefore the decisions to continually accept unpaid work represented the notion of fantasy-laden thinking.
‘Pressure to play?’ A sociological analysis of professional football managers’ behaviour towards injured playersLaw, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; York St John University; UIniversity of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-05-05)Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines professional football managers’ attitudes towards injured players. Following interviews with 10 managers, as with previous research, we found that managers have an expectancy that players are rarely fully fit. Players were stigmatised when they were seemingly unwilling to play when a manager encouraged them to. However, we also found that many managers shaped, in part, by their habitus formed from their own experiences as a player, showed greater empathy towards injured players. Many claimed they would not risk the long-term health of players, although at times, managers at the lower levels felt more constrained to take certain risks. We argue this is an unintended outcome of the increasing pressures on managers to succeed with smaller squads. The increasing emphasis and reliance on ‘sport science’ enabled managers at the higher levels to have a more supportive approach to managing injuries not previously identified in existing literature.
Drug use in English professional footballWaddington, Ivan; Malcolm, Dominic; Roderick, Martin J.; Naik, Ravin D.; University College Chester ; University of Leicester ; University of Leicester (British Association of Sport and Medicine, 2005-03-25)Objectives: To examine several issues related to drug use in English professional football. More particularly the project sought to gather data on: players’ use of permitted supplements (mineral and vitamin pills and creatine); whether they sought advice, and if so from whom, about their use of supplements; their experience of and attitudes towards drug testing; their views on the extent of the use of banned performance enhancing and recreational drugs in football; and their personal knowledge of players who used such drugs. Methods: With the cooperation of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), reply paid postal questionnaires were delivered to the home addresses of all 2863 members of the PFA. A total of 706 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of just under 25%. Results: Many players use supplements, although almost one in five players does so without seeking qualified professional advice from anyone within the club. Blood tests are rarely used to monitor the health of players. One third of players had not been tested for drugs within the preceding two years, and 60% felt that they were unlikely to be tested in the next year. The use of performance enhancing drugs appears to be rare, although recreational drugs are commonly used by professional footballers: 6% of respondents indicated that they personally knew players who used performance enhancing drugs, and 45% of players knew players who used recreational drugs. Conclusions: There is a need to ensure that footballers are given appropriate advice about the use of supplements in order to minimise the risk of using supplements that may be contaminated with banned substances. Footballers are tested for drugs less often than many other elite athletes. This needs to be addressed. The relatively high level of recreational drug use is not reflected in the number of positive tests. This suggests that many players who use recreational drugs avoid detection. It also raises doubts about the ability of the drug testing programme to detect the use of performance enhancing drugs.