Football and Its Communities : Final report and Findings

Football and Its Communities : Final report and Findings

Room 1.02 – Malet Place Engineering Building, London WC1E 6BT

Tuesday 21th November 2006 at 6pm

Given by:

Dr Adam Brown, Prof Tim Crabbe, Dr Gavin Mellor


This presentation is based on the conclusions of a major three-year research project (2002-2005) for the English Football Foundation entitled Football and its Communities . The Final report of this research was released in August 2006 and is available to download from .

The research is concerned with the relationship between English professional football clubs and ‘communities’ of various types, and the ways in which individual football clubs and the English football industry more generally can respond to new community development agendas. There are a number of long-standing discourses of ‘community’ operating in and around the English football industry which have influenced the development of club-based community programmes. These have frequently been ill-defined and have resulted in confused understandings of who football clubs’ ‘communities’ are, and the multi-faceted relationships that clubs have with these groups. This presentation will outline the broad findings of the research and key recommendations made to clubs, the Football Foundation, football more generally and government.

In particular, the presentation focuses on:

  • Rethinking ‘community’ in football.
  • Mapping football’s communities.

And specific recommendations on:

  • Strategic National Frameworks.
  • Club organization.
  • Partnerships.
  • Stadia and facilities.
  • Supporters.
  • Social inclusion.
  • Skills and Knowledge.


  • Brown, A, Crabbe, T and Mellor, G (2006) Football and Its Communities: Final report for the Football Foundation, London: Football Foundation
  • Brown, A, Crabbe, T and Mellor, G (forthcoming autumn 2006) ‘English Football and its Communities’, in International Review of Modern Sociology, Canada, York University.
  • Delanty, G. (2003) Community. London: Routledge.
  • Bale, J. (2000). The Changing Face of Football: Stadiums and Communities. In Garland, J., Malcolm, D. & Rowe, M. (Eds.), The future of football: Challenges for the twenty first century. London: Frank Cass.
  • Bale, J. (1994). Landscapes of Modern Sport. Leicester: Leicester University Press.
  • Crabbe, T. and Brown, A. (2004) ‘You’re Not Welcome Anymore: The football crowd, class and social exclusion’, in Wagg, S. (ed.) British Football and Social Exclusion. London: Routledge.
  • Football Association (2001) The Football Development Strategy 2001-2006. London: The Football Association.
  • Football Task Force (1999) Investing in the Community: A Report by the Football Task Force. London: HMSO.
  • Smith, J. & Ingham, A. (2003) ‘On the Waterfront: Retrospectives on the Relationship Between Sport and Communities’, Sociology of Sport Journal, 20: 252-274.
  • Watson, N. (2000) ‘Football in the Community: ‘What’s the Score”, Soccer and Society, 1, 1: 114-125

For further details contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Email: or Tel: 020-7631 6763

View all Events