Sport & Connected Communities

Football, community and the media

This website emerged from a research project that explored how the next generation of football fans follow, participate in and evaluate the sport.

Focusing on young people aged between 14-18, the project was designed to engage with three current debates around football in the UK. First, the rising cost of watching live football and the extent to which many groups primary engagement is now through media. Second, the place of football clubs within local communities as the growing dominance of the Premier League means less attention is given to local and grassroots football.  Third, the relationship between young people and professional footballers, with recent media reports arguing that the latter are key role models in the contemporary era.

The multi-disciplinary project was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council as part of their Connected Communities programme. Initially focusing on the city of Sheffield, the study used a series of interactive workshops with young people alongside interviews with coaches, community organisations and representatives from the wider world of professional football.

Following the completion of that particular project and as research interests have developed, the site now provides a resource for research and opinion around the intersecting fields of football, community and media consumption at the global and local levels.