Demand and the reduction of consumer power in English football: a historical case-study of Newcastle United fanzine, the Mag 1988–1999

Kevin Dixon

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    Abstract

    Using a historically situated case study, this paper sets out to examine retrospective fan reactions towards the rise of commercialization at Newcastle United Football Club 1988–1999. Combining empirical evidence derived from a long serving NUFC fanzine with theoretical steer from the work of French Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this article explains how fans at NUFC contributed towards their subordinate position during this period as business strategy and neo-liberal philosophy took hold. The work demonstrates that fans (seduced by a new business strategy for the club) embraced the label ‘consumer’ in an attempt to strengthen their position as important stakeholders and concomitantly, to improve their relationship with club owners. But, as the popularity of Premier League football increased over time and demand for season tickets began to outweigh supply, less affluent fans found themselves to be priced out of the market as business minded club owner’s prioritized profit over fan loyalty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-114
    Number of pages19
    JournalSoccer & Society
    Volume21
    Issue number1
    Early online date12 Sep 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

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