As European football continues to expand into new global territories, emergent debates concerning the future of the game have revealed new questions, new challenges, and new opportunities to those studying the politics, culture, economics, and sociology of the game in all its different forms. Central to this scholarship must be an attempt to understand the often fraught and contested relationship between football’s own histories, its rich culture, its organisation and governance, its sustainability, and its future in an increasingly global – but at times, also often polarised and fragmented society.
Some thirty years have now passed since the formation of the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. These reforms were underpinned by a neoliberal regulatory regime; one that demanded the intensification of commercial tendencies, and which, in effect, encouraged the privatisation of wealth over altogether more collectivised principles of solidarity, democratisation, and redistribution. As a number of scholars have already noted, these trajectories have gone on to underpin the transformation of not only the pyramid of the English and European game, but global football as a whole, with a profound impact upon the playing and consumption of men’s and women’s football across Asia, Africa, and North and South America.
Photo: Luke Simcock
Standing at this critical juncture, this hybrid symposium will be a timely event for participants to consider the future challenges and opportunities that all aspects and all levels of the game will face over the next thirty years. In light of the ongoing uncertainty around Covid and travel restrictions, we welcome presentations either in-person or online.