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David Webber

Dr David Webber BA (Hons), MA, PhD, FHEA

Course Leader

School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

023 8201 6209 ext. 6209 Room no. RM207


Dr David Webber is a senior lecturer on the Football Performance and Participation programme, a member of the Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research, and the course leader for the MA in Football, Development and Business Management.

David joined Solent in October 2017 having spent ten years in the Politics and International Studies department at the University of Warwick, from where he was awarded his PhD in 2012. Alongside his PhD, David also holds a First Class honours degree in Business from the University of Wales, and two master's degrees – both conferred with Distinction – from the University of Birmingham in the disciplines of International Political Economy (IPE) and Political Science respectively.

David’s research continues his original interest in British politics and IPE but develops it to examine the political, economic and cultural changes that English football has undergone over the past 30 years. With one monograph already under his belt, Global Statesman (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), David is, alongside a number of other articles relating to the cultural political economy of football, currently writing his next book, Modern Football: The Great Transformation of the English Game with Manchester University Press. A member of the Political Studies Association Sport and Politics group and sub-editor of the Football Collective, David has also worked with a number of organisations including Liverpool Football Club, the Football Supporters Federation and the Spirit of Shankly. He has made a number of local, national and international media appearances to discuss issues relating to the governance and political economy of football.

David is married to Hannah, and they have two children, Daniel and Evie.

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Industry experience

    David has vast industry experience. Follow the link below to find out more.

    David has made a number of media appearances to discuss issues relating to the governance and political economy of sport, including the ongoing US-led investigations into the affairs of FIFA officials; the Hillsborough inquests; the likely impacts of Brexit upon sport; increasing transfer fees; and the fan violence at Euro 2016.

    He has been interviewed on various BBC radio stations, and appeared live on ITV News (local and national), Sky News, Sky Sports News, Al Jazeera, CNN, Euronews, France 24, abc (Australia), CTV and Business News Network (both Canada). David’s analysis of these issues has also been picked up by Reuters and the Press Association, and published in the online and print editions of BBC Sport, Bloomberg, City A.M., Daily Express (UK), Today (Singapore) and the Washington Post.

    David has also worked closely with Liverpool Football Club, and particularly its Academy as part of a widening participation project. He has also worked with supporter groups such as the Spirit of Shankly and the Football Supporters Federation over the issue of safe standing. 

  2. Teaching experience

    David has many years' teaching experience in higher education. Follow the link to find out more.

    David has ten years' experience teaching across a wide range of subjects and disciplines across the all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, and in postgraduate seminars and classes on a variety of MA, MSc and MBA programmes.

    Prior to arriving at Solent, David convened modules as diverse as Introduction to Politics, The Politics of International Development, Politics in the UK, The Making of Economic Policy, Gender and Development, Gender and Global Politics, and The Cultural Political Economy of Sport. This particular module was designed from scratch and encouraged final year undergraduates to consider critically the social and cultural value of sport; the relationship between sport and politics; the political sociology of sport; sport and business; sport as a site of cultural commodification and consumption; ethnicity, race and racism in sport; sport, gender and sexuality; sport and national identities; sport and the politics of resistance; sport and globalisation; global sports governance; sport ‘mega-events’; sport and the changing dynamics of the global economy; and sport as a tool for social change, development and peace building.

  3. Research interests

    David’s research continues his original interest in British politics and IPE but develops it to examine the political, economic and cultural changes that English football has undergone over the past 30 years.

    Rooted in his previous studies in the subfields of British politics and IPE, David’s research has evolved to examine what Karl Polanyi might have termed the ‘great transformation’ that English football has undergone over the past 30 years. Here David draws upon the frameworks of critical IPE to offer an analysis of the sport in this period of late capitalism. These are used to trace the political origins of English football’s increasingly global marketization, and the highly contested cultural politics of fan movements as they respond to the reproduction of the game’s neoliberal practices and processes. These frameworks are instructive not simply for the historical analysis they offer of ‘the market’, but because of the ‘post-market’ possibilities they reveal that exist beyond it.

    David is particularly interested in supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral projects that might fall under these areas of study. 

  4. Recent publications

    David has contributed to a number of publications - follow the link to find out more.

    Webber, D. M. (2017). Global Statesman: How Gordon Brown took New Labour to the World, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (Oxford University Press).

    Webber, D. M. (2017). ‘The Great Transformation of the English Game: Karl Polanyi and the Double Movement ‘Against Modern Football”, in B. Garcia and J. Zheng (eds.) (2017) Whose Game Is It? Supporter Activism and Regulation in European Football, London: Palgrave, 9-26.

    Webber, D. M. (2017). ‘‘Playing on the Break’: Karl Polanyi and the Double-Movement ‘Against Modern Football”, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 52(7) pp. 875–93.

    Webber, D. M. (2016). ‘Safe standing would be “fitting legacy” to Hillsborough victims’, Football Supporters Federation, 29 September 2016

    Webber, D. M. (2016). ‘Hillsborough inquest rights the wrongs, but now attitudes towards fans must change’, The Conversation, 27 April 2016.

    Webber, D. M. (2015). ‘Party policies’, When Saturday Comes, May 2015, issue 339.

    Webber, D. M. & Cloake, M. (2014). ‘Priced out of matches and treated as commodities, football fans are finally starting to reclaim the beautiful game’, New Statesman, 23 December 2014.

  5. Work in progress

    Read more about what David is currently working on by clicking below.

    Book manuscript
    Modern Football: The Great Transformation of the English Game (Manchester University Press).  

    Journal article
    ‘Feasting in a Time of Famine: Thorstein Veblen and the Leisure Class of English Football in an Age of Austerity’.

    Journal article
    ‘Standing Here: Antonio Gramsci and the Cultural Politics of ‘Safe Standing’ in English Football’.

  6. Awards

    Follow the link for more information about the awards David has obtained.
    • ESRC ‘1+3’ grant worth £15,768 per annum to fund doctoral research (PTA-031-2006-00024)
    • £4,047 to finance five projects through the Warwick Undergraduate Research Support Scheme
    • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy