The Place of the Stadium in the Modern Football Industry

The Place of the Stadium in the Modern Football Industry

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre,
Birkbeck College,
Torrington Square,
London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 8th March 2006 at 6pm

Given by:

Simon Inglis

Football stadia play a critical role in the life of any football club. They provide the stage on which the game is played out, and the theatre in which it is watched. In financial terms they remain almost universally the key capital asset of a football club – collateral against loans however risky. And even in the Premier League they provide the key source of revenue through turnstile and related commercial income e.g. most recently Manchester United (whilst still a public company prior to the takeover the the Glazer family) announced that they would not be paying a special dividend to shareholders in November 2004 as the monies were ear-marked for stadium expansion at Old Trafford.

It was the rebuilding of Britain’s football stadia in the 1990s following on from the Taylor Report into the 1989 disaster at the Hillsborough ground which many would argue created the foundations for the financial re-birth of the game. Football stadia also frequently carry with them a unique cultural value which football fans value highly, and which has frequently led to active supporter-led campaigns to oppose ground moves.

Simon Inglis – whose recent book on stadium designer Archibald Leitch was runner up in the 2005 William Hill Sports Book Award – is Britain ‘s leading authority on the place of stadia in the football industry. In this seminar Simon addresses the issues outlined above by chronicling the history of football stadia development in Britain over the last twenty years. Beginning by addressing the reasons for the parlous state of the grounds of the football league in the 1980s, he will then explain the key drivers behind the stadia rebuilding drive of the 1990s, before concluding with some observations on the place of the stadium in the future development of the football industry. Simon will also place stadiums within the overall context of Britain ‘s sporting heritage, a theme he is currently promoting as editor of English Heritage’s pioneering series, Played in Britain (see


  • Inglis, S. (2005). Engineering Archie: Football ground designer English Heritage
  • Inglis, S. (2004). Played in Manchester : The architectural heritage of a city at play. English Heritage.
  • Inglis, S. (2000). Sightlines: a stadium odyssey . Yellow Jersey Press.
  • Inglis, S. (1996). The Football Grounds of Britain . Collins Willow .
  • Inglis, S. (1990). The Football Grounds of Europe . Harper Collins Willow .
  • Inglis, S. (1988). League Football and the Men Who Made It : The Official Centenary History of the Football League . Harper Collins Willow .
  • Inglis, S. (1982). Football Grounds of England & Wales . Collins Willow .

For further details on this seminar series contact:

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

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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