A ‘healthy’future? Supporters’ perceptions of the current state of English football

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Over the last few years, clear public policy support in favour of fan engagement in the governance of football has developed. This is based on the assumption that supporters are dissatisfied with the current governance structures within the sport. There is, however, no robust academic evidence of whether this is indeed the case. This article aims to contribute to the debate by presenting data from qualitative fieldwork with 21 football supporters during March–May 2013. Each participant created a photograph album over an eight-week period, and was then interviewed individually to elicit the meaning of their photographs and diaries. This group of fans used their photographs to express dissatisfaction with several aspects of current football governance, highlighting issues with the financial, physical and social health of the sport. We suggest a number of implications of this, both for the fans and for the future state of the game.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-343
Number of pages22
JournalSoccer Society
Issue number2-3
Early online date26 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015