Towards an ‘everyday’ cultural political economy of English football: Conceptualising the futures of Wembley Stadium and the grassroots game

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Abstract

The proposed sale of Wembley Stadium in 2018 raised the possibility of a windfall that could be reinvested into the grassroots tier of English football. This bid was ultimately withdrawn but, as this article demonstrates, the episode highlighted the co-constitutive relationship between the everyday cultural base of English football, and those political and economic discourses, strategies, and trajectories that have been pursued within the sport and wider society. Developing a theoretical approach conceptualised here as ‘everyday’ cultural political economy, this article considers the cultural histories, objects, spaces and practices whose futures were both at stake in this transaction – namely, Wembley and the grassroots game – and the material effects that austerity and a skewed distribution of wealth have had upon the everyday cultural production of English football. The proposed sale of Wembley, it is argued here, failed to sufficiently account for and mitigate the impact that these political and economic effects have had upon the ‘everyday culture’ of grassroots football. The concluding remarks of this article call for a strategy that foregrounds the cultural base of English football and those quotidian practices that have come to be recast by the unequal power relations extant to the contemporary game.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalNew Political Economy
Early online date6 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021

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