2019. The Football Collective Annual Conference at Sheffield

The Football Collective Annual Conference


You can find the conference programme here:

Football Collective Programme


Sheffield – 28th and 29th November 2019

Sheffield is famed for its role in forging the beautiful game. Home to Sheffield FC, the world’s oldest football club; home to the world’s oldest, continually used ground, Hallam FC; home of the Youdan Cup, the world’s oldest football trophy; home of the first floodlit match at Bramall Lane; home to the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA, the largest local association; and home to one of the world’s largest grassroots leagues in the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday Football League. Not forgetting two, giant professional clubs in Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

The 2019 Football Collective annual conference will take place in this unique, special and footballing rich city on the 28th and 29th November, bringing this collective of football researchers, practitioners and scholars together in Sheffield for the first time.

‘From Grassroots to hyper commodification’

2019 marks forty years since Trevor Francis became the first footballer to break the £1million transfer barrier when he signed for Nottingham Forest. It was a watershed moment in transfer history, signalling the beginning of more aggressive and expensive transfer spending. Four decades on, £1m transfer fees are almost non-existent at the top table, with some players exceeding £100m, and now it is seen as a mundane transfer window when clubs fall short of spending £1bn.

Drawing on research undertaken by members of the Football Collective, the 2019 Annual Conference will look to scrutinise the business of football to find solutions that will benefit clubs, their players, their fans and their local communities.

Putting football’s lucrative ideologies aside, this year’s conference will also explore both the commercial and human benefits football can bring to the general population. The generation of wealth might be important to those at the very top of the game but supporting smaller projects is the lifeblood for the game’s growth. From grassroots to hyper-commodification, we will hear how we can shape the future of the ‘beautiful game’ by increasing participation from women, improving the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities as well as highlight the positive impact it can have on mental health.

The conference welcomes papers that address (but are not limited to) football and the following:

  • Business
  • Performance
  • Grassroots through to elite
  • Mega events
  • Politics
  • Fan culture and social movements
  • Diversity
  • Women and Girls
  • Social and Community
  • Governance and Ownership
  • Labour / Migration
  • Racism
  • Conflict (Ethno-national, Ideological, Sectarian etc.)
  • Sectarianism
  • Identities
  • Class
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Mental Health
  • Other themes relevant to the Football Collective themes

The conference is designed to offer opportunities for all to present research, research ideas, potential projects, and innovative methods of data collection or public engagement. Thus it aims to discuss research that (a) has been undertaken, to share findings and gain insight and feedback on data analysis, representation, and potential outputs (b) is being proposed as a potential option for the Football Collective group to understand an existing issue or (c) has been published, to share findings and discuss future research needs.

We particularly encourage submissions from PhD scholars and early career researchers.


Tickets are now on sale – register here

Recommended hotels

Here is a selection of recommended hotels, including discounted rates for conference delegates – check them out here.

Please make sure that you continue to monitor the Football Collective Twitter and Facebook pages as well as the weekly digests emailed to all members of the collective.


https://www.facebook.com/TheFootballCollective/ ·


Abstracts and Submissions

Please submit a Word document containing your paper title, a 250 word abstract, and author information including full name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a 50-word bio to footballcollective2019@gmail.com by 6th September 2019. A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to each conference paper.

We also welcome proposals for workshops, film screenings, performances etc and particularly encourage submissions from PhD scholars and early career researchers.

Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent by 24th September 2019.

Registration Closes; November 1st 2019