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Internet and social movements in association football
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Internet and social movements in association football

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  • 1. Internet and Social Movements inAssociation Football: Exploring Spirit ofShankly and Liverpool F.C.Peter Millward, Durham University Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk
  • 2. Reasons why recent football fan protests are a good area to study social movements• M ucci (1996) - pr er equi si t es of col l ect i ve act i on el ar e t o have a gr oup of peopl e w w d r egul ar l y ho oul com t oget her , w t h si m l ar pur poses and r enew t hei r e i i bel i ef s /i dent i f i cat i ons w t h a m i ovem .ent• C ossl ey (2002: 7) - ‘t her e ar e doubt l ess m r any r easons’ w soci al m hy ovem s shoul d be a cor e ent soci ol ogi cal i ssue, but pr ot est s and m l i sat i ons obi ar e i m t ant com por posi t es of t he dai l y news. – Engl i sh Pr em er League m ches ar e annual l y br oadcast t o a i at cum at i ve gl obal t el evi si on audi ence of t hr ee bi l l i on ul peopl e acr oss 211 nat i ons.• Al t hough Byr ne (1997: 62-63) not ed t hat t he si ze of col l ect i ve act i on i s of t en di f f i cul t t o measur e, r ecent pr ot est s cont ai ned pr ot est er s t hat
  • 3. Context• Tom Hicks and George Gillett Club bought for £175m, taking on £80m of debt i n Febr uar y 2007• Var i ous i nt er est over t he year s, par t i cul ar l y i n t he Pr em er i League’s post -Abr am ch er a ovi• Made t hr ee pr om ses: i 1. M easur ed i nvest ment i n t he pl ayi ng t eam 2. R egener at i on of Anf i el d di st r i ct - ‘Spade i n t he G ound’ i n 60 days r 3. N doi ng ‘a G azer ’: acqui si t i on debt ot l• Fans i ni t i al l y w com – and t hen a el ed gr ow ng num i ber di dn’t ! Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk
  • 4. Spirit of Shankly – Supporters’ Union (SOS)• ‘Sons of Shankl y’ f or m i n back r oom of ed The Sandon pub on 1 Feb 2008• ‘Shor t ’, ‘m ddl e’, ‘l ong’ and ‘ul t i m e’ ai m i at s – none of t hem expl i ci t l y st at ed t he r em oval of H cks and G l l et t i i• R s i n ‘Keep Fl ags Scouse’ and ‘R ai m oot ecl t he Kop’ – l ocal i sed ‘r eal ’ f ans• ‘D r ect Act i on’/Bi l l boar ds i• Spl i nt er gr oups• M e gl obal i sed act i on or Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk
  • 5. Football Club For Sale: Two not-so- careful owners!• June 2010 -second l oan r ef i nance, r evi ew 12 ed m hs l at er ont• Boar d of Tom H cks, G ge G l l et t , M t i n i eor i ar Br ought on, C i st i an Pur sl ow and I an Ayr e hr• April 2010 – Sale price initially rumoured to be £800m, later rumoured to be £500m• R r educe exposur e and Bar cl ays Bank hi r ed BS t o f i nd pur chaser• Sum er 2010, G l l et t def aul t s on r epaym m i ent t o M l l Fi nanci al (U hedge f under s) i S• October 2010- sold to NESV for £300m, with £200m goi ng t o pay of f debt s Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk
  • 6. The pr ocess [of sel l i ng t he cl ub] w as cont i nual l y f r ust r at ed by t hi s chat t er about f i nanci al di st r ess com ng out of R so t he i nt er est ed i BS, buyer s t hat w knew w d be t he e oul r i ght t ype of buyer s f or t hi s cl ub - l ook w s happened t o M hat anchest er C t y now w t h t hei r new ow shi p - i i ner t hat s t he ki nd of buyer w w e e er t r yi ng t o f i nd f or Li ver pool , and t hose peopl e w e scar ed of f by t he er di st r ess chat t er , and by t he m l i t ant , or gani sed i nt er net t er r or i sm i cam gns t hat w e di r ect ed agai nst pai er peopl e t hat w d get i nvol ved. oul Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk Tom H cks, i nt er vi ew br oadcast by Sky i
  • 7. The Role of the Internet in Mobilisations• M essageboar ds, Tw t t er , Facebook. i• ‘R and W t e Kop’ m ed hi essageboar d has been a pl ace w e act i on f or SO has been her S di scussed and or gani sed.• SaveLi ver pool FC – R ‘H oy endo’ H ender son• Kop Fai t hf ul – Al an Kayal l /The Li ver pool Way f anzi ne• Tw t t er i –What r ol e?• C el l s (2009: 4) ar gues t hat f or a pr ot est ast onl i ne, i t s ‘ar t i cul at i on over t he I nt er net ’ becom ‘bot h i t s or gani zat i onal f or m and i t s es Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk mode of act i on’.
  • 8. Internet as a site for Repertoires of Action• Body of w k t hat expl or es t he I nt er net as a or t ool f or soci al m ovem s (i .e. Li ebr ouw 2011) ent• The separ at i on of t he I nt er net and I nt er net assi st ed act i on• The I nt er net di d not cause t he sal e of t he cl ub• I nt er net assi st ed act i on m have hel ped t o ay m pul at e t he m cr o – but not t he m o – ani i acr condi t i ons t hat caused t he sal e• I nt er net as of f er i ng new oppor t uni t i es t o r ei nf or ce pr e-exi st i ng f an pr act i ces• I nt er net t er r or i st s? Peter.Millward2@durham.ac.uk

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