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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