Away from the numbers

The Football Collective began with a group of regionally local people meeting up to discuss research and socialise. In 2020 and moving forward, we want to bring a little more of that back. Therefore, we are doing some networking and social events to make “get togethers” more common and in doing so ensuring these small group meetings are accessible financially and geographically. Of course, this is the first year and there will be a lot to learn (as there always is!), but we hope you can join us on this journey at some point during the year.

Much of the intended plans and social activities have had to be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. We are open to ideas to host research discussions as part of The FBC Sessions on our Zoom account. If you have any ideas, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For people interested in getting involved, please keep an eye on this page for updates as we will post the details on how to sign-up throughout the year.


Wednesday 22nd – We have seen the power of #breakfastwithnige on Twitter with Nigel Adkins, however on Wednesday 22nd April it was ‘Breakfast with… Alex Culvin, Paddy Hoey and Kieran Maguire – who will be joined by Dan Parnell for a conversation on some of the current issues in football. You can watch the full and first of the FBC sessions here:

Thursday 30th – The second of our FBC sessions involved Eleanor Drywoor, Francesca Champ and Beth Clarkson – who was joined by Alex Culvin for a conversation on the current issues in football and society. The full recording is below:

Also read the related commentary: Covid-19: Reflections on threat and uncertainty for the future of elite women’s football in England.


Wednesday 6th – Our third FBC session was on the topic: ‘Discussing Football Fan Engagement Projects: Action, Participation and Club Ownership debates’ with Ronan Evain; Richard Irving; Nicola Cave who will be welcomed and joined by Peter Millward who oversaw the conversation. Here is the recording:

Sunday 10th 3pm – 50 Years since Corinthian Nomads versus Dundalk Ladies (England v Ireland)

In this event we celebrated 50 years since the Corinthian-Nomads Ladies Football Club from Manchester played Dundalk Ladies from County Louth in the Republic of Ireland met in Prestatyn, North Wales. This was a defacto international and the poster advertised the match as England versus Ireland. The match was played on 10 May 1970 at Prestatyn Raceway and is a significant match in the history of women’s football in Britain, Ireland and Europe. Follow some of the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #CORDUN1970 The panel included Helena Byrne, John Carrier, Jean Williams, and special guest Paula Gorham (Dundalk Ladies). The session will be chaired by Dan Parnell. You can view the full recording below:

Tuesday 12th – ‘Football in Lockdown: Power in Unity’ Conference – catch up on the conference here.

Wednesday 13th May – As part of our FBC series we interviewed Tom Webb on his research Sports match official research: an evolving narrative, positioning future research. The discussing is here and here is a link to the research and slides – read more here.

Saturday 16th Football [Collective] Focus on Saturday morning Jan Andre Lee Ludvigsen was in conversation with Dan Parnell. Jan will be shared some of his insight from his PhD research including mega-event security, Euro 2020, COVID-19 and how COVID-19 will impact security in the future.

Monday 18th – As part of our FBC Sessions we are running a number of grassroots football specials #GrassrootsFootball Each session will discuss a range of topics and research related to grassroots football. Joining this session was Dave Webber, Sean Hammil, Jim Keoghan, Les Crang and the chair was Josh Dean:

Thursday 21st – As part of our FBC Sessions we welcomed Maggie Murphy (General Manager at Lewes FC @MaggieMrphy) and also runs @EPFinitiative. Maggie is a very inspiring person and is a leader is a very unique football club, in that Lewes FC the first club in the world to pay its male and female players equally. Maggie was joined by Alex Culvin and Dan Parnell for a discussion on her career and the topical challenges facing football right now. Check out the full recording here:

Thursday 21st – As part of our FBC Sessions we are running a number of grassroots football specials #GrassrootsFootball Each session will discuss a range of topics and research related to grassroots football. Joining this session was Anthony May, Ryan Thomas, Andy Carmichael. The session was chaired by Dan Parnell. Watch the full recording here:

Wednesday 27th – Fan-owned clubs: national and international perspectives (chaired by Peter Millward). In this session, Football Collective members from several different countries talked about their involvement with fan-owned clubs and their perspectives on fan-owned football as a whole. The speakers were, Fabian Fritz, who coordinates educational work at the museum of the iconic German fan-owned team FC St. Pauli. Luke Cox, who is a director of English fan-owned team Worcester City FC. He is also communications officer of SD Europe. Jonathan Ervine, who is on the board of Welsh fan-owned team CPD Bangor 1876 FC and a lecturer at Bangor University. The full recording is here:

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday 27th – Celebrating the anniversary of the first Final of the European Championship for Women 27 May 1984: England women’s national teams highest placing at a major tournament. Chaired by Alex Culvin, this session discusses England’s close defeat by Sweden in the Final of the inaugural Women’s Euros in 1984 with two England captains, Carol Thomas and Gill Coultard, and Jean Williams who is currently working on a history of the England women’s team 1972 to present – join us 11am (BST). Read more here. The full recording to watch is here:

Wednesday 27th – Next up, and adding a fresh installment to our FBC Sessions we have Daphne Goldschmidt (chair of Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem), Football Supporters Europe’s Greta Rinast and Nicole Winkelhake talking about their Fan.Tastic Females collaboration which details women and girl’s experiences of European football fan culture.  Jess Richards chaired this must listen event.  Watch the full recording here:

Wednesday 27th DOUBLE HEADER As part of our FBC Sessions we are running a number of grassroots football specials #GrassrootsFootball Each session will discuss a range of topics and research related to grassroots football.

First-Half – kick off 2pm (BST) – Jimmy O’Gorman, Will Rowlands (Wirral Schools FA), Tom Webb, Chad Roberts and chaired by Dan Parnell. Watch here:

Second-Half – kick off 3pm (BST) – Maggie Ntim, Simon Rofe, Paul Whitty, James Reade and chaired by Danny Fitzpatrick. Watch here:


Monday 1st – As part of our FBC Sessions we are running a number of grassroots football specials #GrassrootsFootball Each session will discuss a range of topics and research related to grassroots football. This session involved Zachary T. Smith, Matthew Hindmarsh, Rob Kielty, Craig Corrigan and was chaired by Josh Dean. The full recording is here:

Wednesday 3rd – As part of our FBC Sessions we are running a number of grassroots football specials #GrassrootsFootball Each session will discuss a range of topics and research related to grassroots football. Joining this session for a 2pm (BST) kick off: David Kilpatrick, Dave Webber, Danny Fitzpatrick and chaired by Simon Rofe. Details to join will be sent to members by email.

Tuesday 9th 11:00am Governance in Football. This panel session brought together some diverse perspectives on governance in the national and international game: Matt Slater (journalist – The Athletic), Kevin Carpenter (sports law – Captivate Legal and Manchester Metropolitan University), Daniel Harris-Gorelov (governance, risk and compliance – Move The Posts), and chaired by Christina Philippou (forensic accounting – University of Portsmouth).  Watch the full recording here:

Friday 12th – In this exciting FBC Session we have Chris Gibbons (Inside Inclusion) and Lindsay England (Just a Ball Game?) talking us through their vast experiences in education through sport in a panel debate entitled ‘Anti-discrimination and anti-bullying strategies in football’. This much needed and timely session was chaired by Football Collective Equalities and Diversity lead, Rory Magrath. The full recording is here:

Thursday 18th – As part of our FBC Sessions we welcomed Frankie Hunter (Middlesbrough Head of Fitness), Kelsey Byrne (FA Women’s National Coach Developer) Lydia Bedford (England Women u17 Head Coach) and Natalie Henderson (NUFC Lead YDP Coach, male & England Women U16 Assistant Coach). These women are all currently or have historically engaged with coaching practice with both male and female players. More importantly, all are currently inspiring females within the game in their own novel way, for example, coach educating female coaches, working with male players or on the international pathway. These role models from the game were joined by Rebecca Sawiuk for a discussion on their career to-date, topical challenges they have faced in coach education or practice and how they have attempted to overcome them. We are keen to highlight avenues of support and encourage both female practitioners in the game and male allies to join forces to help address the lack of female coaches in the game. Watch the full recording below:

Friday 26

Tuesday 30 June

Saturday 27 June 2020 marked a pan-European #SportPride day.  To celebrate, on 30 June 2020 we collaborated with Football Supporters Europe (@FansEurope) for an OUT! in Football (project website) fringe event.  On the panel we have Martin Endemann (from Fussballfans gegen Homophobie/Football Supporters Europe, @EndemannMartin), Stephanie Fuller (from @prideinfootball/@ProudandPalace) and Swedish ex-professional footballer and now AIK Solna-based educator, we have Max Bergander (@MaxBergander1). Peter Millward (@PeterMillward79) chairs. The full recording is here:

Monday 6 July (11:00am BST)

Disability and Football – Paul Darke, Miro Griffiths, Jason Browning, & Paul Kitchin

In this session, Football Collective members will seek to explore understandings and representations of disability, the involvement of disabled people through football, and opportunities for action and research in this area for the future.  The speakers are Miro Griffiths MBE, who is a Teaching Fellow in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, Paul Darke CEO and Founder of Outside Centre – Digital Disability, and Jason Browning, Chairperson of Lightning Powerchair Football Club in Northern Ireland.  The session will be chaired by Paul Kitchin.

Wednesday 8 July (11:00am BST)

Ethnicity, Racism and Racial Injustice in Football

The brutal killing of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement has cast light on racism and racialised injustices in the mainstream of society.  But do these injustices exist in the area in football, where for instance, black managers and leading administrators are rare.  This important session draws upon expertise from @KickitOut’s @Towno10 and @oseisankofa and author of the award winning book, Football, Ethnicity and Community, @Leicestersoc’s  @drpaulcampbell1. @PeterMillward79 chaired. The full recording is here:

Thursday 9 July (12:00pm BST)

Celebrating 50 Years Since The First Women’s World Cup in Italy 1970 sponsored by Martini and Rosso

Join us to celebrate the first Women’s World Cup in 1970 hosted by FIEFF as the Coppa Del Mundo 1970 sponsored by Martini and Rosso, for the Trofeo Martini Rossi, at that time the biggest sponsorship deal for a tournament in women’s football. As FIFA did not go on to host a women’s world cup until 1991, these women were pioneers, and Martini and Rosso’s sponsorship groundbreaking. Our panel will be historian Jean Williams, England players Barbara Taylor, Paula Rayner, Angie King, Trudy McCaffery, Jill Stockly and Louise Cross. and, Martini and Rosso, archivist and Heritage Curator, Anna Scudalleria. 

Our discussion will cover how England came to be represented by a team managed by Harry Batt, who has already taken out a team to Italy to compete in the 1969 European Championships, where four teams were involved: England, Denmark, Italy and France.  Other members of the 1969 England team who came third, were Sue Lopez, and Sue Bucket from Southampton; Sue Tungate, Mary Blake and Tina Oliver from Luton Ladies, and Val Cheshire and Paula Rayner from Chiltern Valley Ladies. Paula had just turned 14.

Saturday 11 July at 12 noon

England v Germany rivalry in the 1980s Women’s Football Panel

Join us for a panel event involving England and German international players discussing the rise of the German team to win the 1989 women’s Euros. On the panel will be Gill Coultard, England captain and first woman too 100 caps,  and the fifth person to this distinction, after Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton, and the only amateur to the centenary, at that time. Joining Gill is Kerry Davis, 82 caps, 44 goals in a England career lasting from1982-1997 and professional footballer in Italy, playing for Lazio, Trani and Napoli. For Germany we have Petra Landers, part of the 1989 Euros winning team, who has recently collaborated on a documentary about how her trip to Taiwan in 1981 with an unofficial Germany side, led to the creation of an official national team in 1982.  The documentary, Das Wunder von Taipeh released in 2019, will be adapted for an English speaking audience soon

Jean Williams and Alex Culvin joined the panel and discuss the international comparisons in the professionalization of women’s football at this time. The full recording is below:

Friday 17 July at 4pm (BST)

Football and UK-German Relations

Rivalry, penalties, collaboration … what can we learn from football about the UK-German relations? We are co-hosting an online discussion (with breakout rooms) with Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Aston Centre for Europe to explore the links between UK and German football and reflect on what they tell us about the history and the future prospects of bilateral relations between the two countries. We will be joined by an expert panel, including:

  • Alison McGovern MP (Shadow Sports Minister);
  • Ronald Reng (German sports journalist and author of ‘A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke’ and ‘Matchdays: The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga’);
  • Christoph Wagner (UK-based football writer and researcher); and
  • Mara Pfeiffer (sports journalist and part of “Women talking about football” podcast collective)

Please email Danny Fitzpatrick for more details.

Thursday 23 July at 4pm (BST)

Returning to Officiating – Beyond COVID-19

Despite the return of some professional sport, the majority of sport at most levels has not yet returned following its postponement after the COVID-19 pandemic. This has created an uncertain and challenging environment for players, coaches and sports match officials across sports and countries around the globe. Therefore, this important discussion panel draws upon the knowledge and experience of a number of experts from around the world including @TingleJK, @dutchreferee, @wirephil, @coachng_mc and @DrTomWebb, in order to discuss the issues around returning to sporting action post COVID-19. The discussion focuses on these issues and potential opportunities upon returning to action, and considers how we can best develop and support referees and match officials during this process, once they return to action and beyond in a shifting and uncertain sporting landscape. The full recording can be found here:

Wednesday 29th July

This exciting session explores the benefits of recreational and community football to key stakeholders including business, the participants and the local community. It explores how human social conscience is intertwined in the desire to participate and draws expert view offered by Chris Roberts, co-founder of North Wales Dragons Men’s and Women’s Community Football Teams, Hannah Roberts, a member of North Wales Dragons advisory team and co-founder of the Dragons Women’s football team and Gemma Whittaker, a founding member of a community football team Infinity Initiatives who campaign to get people acknowledging and addressing mental health.  Peter Millward will chair. 

We are delighted to announce that we are holding a Women’s Game Network session immediately after the Recreational and Community Football event, commencing at 3pm on Wednesday 29 July.  This much anticipated draws upon an experts spanning a wide geography from Portland to Manchester, discussing cutting edge developments in the Women’s Game.  We are delighted to announce panel members as Jude Morris-King (Manchester City supporters club representative), Bailey Brown (President, Independent Supporters Council – North America) and Gabby Rosas (Rose City Riveters, supporters group for Portland Thorns). 


*There is hope that this can still happen! Monday 14th December 2020 – Liverpool. Time: 4:30pm. Details: Dan Parnell, social. Meet at 16:30 in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms (36 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BX) followed by a meal at 19:00 in Remora (4 S Hunter St, Liverpool L1 9JG).

Contact for social events will be provided as necessary on this page. If you have a general enquiry or if you are interested in hosting an event please contact Dan Parnell 07538500348

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