Arguably the most universal sport of all, football is the world's game. While fans often feel a sense of wonder and ownership towards the team they support, there is perceived to be an increasing distance between clubs and their supporters, and many clubs face financial difficulty.
Join sports journalist and best-selling author David Conn and management historians Kevin Tennent and Alex Gillett of the University of York – the Soccer-Mad Boffins – as they discuss the business of football. Find out more about why the relationship between football clubs and the communities in which they exist is so important.
Kevin and Alex explain why they believe the reason for the escalating issues in professional soccer stem from its unique logic that leads owners to invest ever-increasing amounts of money into their teams to chase the success that their fans demand. They argue that this, paradoxically, helps enlarge the gap between clubs and their supporters.
About the speakers
David Conn is one of football's foremost investigative journalists who writes for the Guardian about sport, the Hillsborough disaster, football's outsized relationship with money, Fifa, Brexit and other issues. David covered the struggles by the supporters to save York City in the crisis of the early 2000s and many fans will still remember the coverage. His books include The Fall of the House of Fifa, The Football Business, and The Beautiful Game? Searching for the Soul of Football.
Dr Alex G. Gillett is a Lecturer in Marketing at the York Management School, University of York. His research interests are relatively broad, but much of his work has focused on organisational networks, relationships, and interaction. In addition to studying contemporary contexts, Alex has a keen interest in management history, and is a founding committee member of the Management and Business History Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management.
Dr Kevin D. Tennent is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the York Management School, University of York. His research focuses on the themes of governance and strategy in management history, across the fields of sport, international business, the music industry, and transport. He is Founding Chair of the Management and Business History Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management, and is active in the Management History Division at the Academy of Management.