The Growth of the Professional Footballers’ Association

The Growth of the Professional Footballers’ Association

Room 101, Foster Court, UCL
(Off Torrington Place WC1 opposite Waterstones Bookstore)

Wednesday 26th January 2005, 6pm-8pm

Given by:

Geoff Walters, Football Governance Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London


Geoff Walters is a Research Associate in the Football Governance Research and is currently an ESRC-funded PhD student in the School of Management & Organisational Psychology researching corporate governance in the football industry.

In this seminar Geoff discusses some of his previous research whilst studying for a MA Labour Studies in the Department of Sociology at Manchester University – the growth of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in the 1980s and 1990s. The PFA provides a case study example of a trade union that bucked the general trend of union decline throughout this period. Geoff will discuss the PFA from an internal union perspective, focusing on industrial relations, professional and educational activities. The focus will then turn to external factors that have assisted in strengthening the position of the PFA in the football industry.

The seminar concludes that the interdependence of internal and external factors have combined to strengthen the union and enhance its stakeholder position within the football industry, at a time when the trade union movement was experiencing member losses and a diminuation in power and influence.


  • Harding, J (1991), For the Good of the Game: The Official History of the Professional Footballers’ Association, London: Robson Books
  • Harding, J (2002), ‘PFA TV Monies Dispute 2001’, Soccer Review 2002 , Leicestershire: Murphy and Waddington
  • Waddington, I (1998), ‘The Union Man’, Singer and Friedlander Football Review 1997-98, Leicester: The Centre for Research into Sport and Society, University of Leicester
  • Walters, G. (2004). `The Professional Footballers Association: A Case-Study of Trade Union Growth’. Birkbeck College Football Governance Research Centre Research Paper No.1 . See:
  • The Official Website of the PFA

For further details contact:

Sean Hamil
Tel: 020-7631 6763

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