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Whose game is it? Football governance through the eyes of the supporters [Paper #2: What could be done to improve football governance?]

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posted on 2015-11-27, 09:48 authored by Borja Garcia-GarciaBorja Garcia-Garcia, Joanna Welford
Policy paper #1 in the series discussed what supporters actually think about football governance. It concluded that supporters are dissatisfied with current football governance in the UK, and feel that the game is in need of increased regulation. An unequal distribution of power at the top level of football is believed to have caused a shift in power towards external stakeholders and away from the Football Association. This has resulted in a loss of trust in football institutions, particularly the governing body, to govern effectively. Further, supporters feel that their importance to the game is not recognised by the football authorities, external stakeholders or their clubs, particularly those at the elite level. Supporters however had a number of thoughts concerning how the governance of football in the UK might be better regulated. This second paper explores the opinions of supporters and their suggestions on how to improve football governance. Supporters who took part in the FREE Project generally made suggestions in two areas: (1) football governance reform, and (2) the need for greater supporter involvement. These will now be discussed in turn, using examples from the qualitative data (37 ‘engaged’ supporters in the UK).


The FREE – Football Research in an Enlarged Europe – project has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development & demonstration under grant agreement № 290805.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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The FREE Project Football governance policy papers Paper #2: What could be done to improve football governance?


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GARCIA, B. and WELFORD, J., 2015. Whose game is it? Football governance through the eyes of the supporters [Paper #2: What could be done to improve football governance?]. The FREE Project Football governance policy papers, 18pp.


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