Democratising Football

21st November 2019.

Football has always been moulded by and reflected the broader state of Britain’s political economy, and (as with the rest of the economy), recent decades have seen the game transformed by extractive capitalism, financialisation, and petrodollar-fuelled elites. From Bury to Barcelona, modern football is increasingly marked by inequality, debt, and a growing detachment from the communities that sustain the clubs. But it doesn’t have to be this way; in this report, written for Common Wealth, Joe Bilsborough and Jonty Leibowitz of CLES and writer Joshua Gabert-Doyon argue that democratic forms of ownership and governance, coupled with clubs employing intentional, place-based anchor approaches, can help bring the people’s game back home to fans and communities.