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It’s a man’s game: English football and socio-cultural change

Andrews, Ian S. (2013) It’s a man’s game: English football and socio-cultural change. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis sets out to explain the limited representation of English players in Premiership football. As a nation, England appears to be producing an insufficient number of players who are believed capable of playing at the highest level of the game. Available data has suggested that less than 40% of footballers who started Premier League games in recent years are English. Why then are foreign players preferred to their English counterparts? One explanation to this question may be found in the historical development of the English game. As well as being a game, football is a form of cultural expression. From the earliest forms of ‘folk football’ played in the fourteenth century, a range of social forces have either independently or inter-dependently helped to promote a game largely based upon fitness and physicality. However, during the twentieth century, the football being played in other countries began to improve markedly; football began to shift from a traditional to a technical game. Following the formation of the Premier League in 1992, Premiership clubs began to recruit foreign players in increasing numbers, many of whom possessed the technical ability required to compete at the highest levels of the game. Much of English football, in contrast, has continued to promote a manly and physical game rather than a game based upon the development of technical skills. Unless a greater number of English players acquire a similar level of technical ability then the influx of foreign players is likely to continue.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Ian S. Andrews
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Dunning, Eric

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