BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    An investigation into the economic regulatory framework of English professional football in the post-modern era: the value of a regulatory space approach

    Saunders, Jonathan Paul (2021) An investigation into the economic regulatory framework of English professional football in the post-modern era: the value of a regulatory space approach. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Final3.0.pdf - Full Version

    Download (3MB) | Preview


    Over the course of the last thirty years a large number of professional football clubs have reported serious financial problems. Concurrently, there has been a consistent commentary within media and political circles of an economic and financial ‘crisis’ in English football and the failure of economic regulation together with a lack of governance at clubs and football authorities, particularly the Football Association (FA). Despite the protestations of financial crisis very few clubs have actually gone out of business and those that have are predominately from the lower leagues of English professional football. For this reason, we have seen very little change in the economic regulatory framework for football: it remains a self-regulatory system with the last major iteration of economic regulation introduced in 2013. This thesis, using the analytical concept of regulatory space, examines the development of the economic regulatory framework for English football between 1992-2019. Drawing on secondary sources and primary interviews, the empirical analysis of the economic regulatory space in football provides supporting evidence to the importance of organisations and the role of ‘crisis’, in defining and shaping regulatory space, in both instances however the data provides subtle additional understanding to the original theory. Furthermore, the evidence gathered suggests that the original envisaged bounded area could be developed into a more nuanced image of regulatory space including topography of an expanding regulatory universe, a visualisation of how space is occupied and the intensity of negotiations between inhabitants. Finally, the thesis supports the contention that a number of factors, particularly culture and political landscape, have a crucial influence on the development of regulatory space. It concludes that without some rebalancing of the economic power or the introduction of statutory legislation to legitimise the power of some organisations, the current economic framework for English football is unlikely to survive.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 15:13
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 15:13


    Activity Overview

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item