The Moral Economy of the English Football Fan in the Twenty-first Century

In late April of this year, it was announced that twelve of the wealthiest and best supported teams from across Europe would be competing in a new competition across Europe. The Super League was to be played in place of the current Champions League. However, places in the Super League would not be decided on where a side finished in the existing domestic league table but instead the league would have no relegation or promotion and access to the league would have been based on prior agreement by the founding clubs. These clubs were the richest with the largest global audiences but not necessarily the best achieving teams. Within three days of the announcement of the new league, all of the English teams who had committed to participating had withdrawn in the face of giant public backlash. The proposal was, seemingly without exception, hated by every football fan including those of the teams that would have joined the league. So why did this particular proposal arouse such anger and disgust?

Collecting Relationships: the Phenomenon of Ooshies

Anthropologists have long acknowledged that ownership is a far more complex phenomenon than it seems at first. What on the surface appears to be a relationship between you and an object is actually a relationship between you, the object and everyone else. To borrow David Graeber’s example: “when one buys a car one is not really purchasing the right to use it so much as the right to prevent others from using it”.