Modern football is an industry and capitalism is its engine. However, this book argues for a more nuanced understanding of contemporary football culture and the (self-)identity of football fans.

Drawing on original ethnographic research conducted with fans at all levels, from international to lower league, the book explores the tensions between fans as consumers and ‘traditional’ football cultures, arguing that modern football fans are able to negotiate the discourses of capitalism and tradition operating upon them to enact their own power and identity within football culture.

Featuring case studies of Norwich City, MK Dons and Chelsea fans, this is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in sport and society or cultural studies.

chapter 1|9 pages



chapter 2|25 pages

The people’s game?

chapter 3|11 pages

Changing formation

chapter 4|25 pages

Norwich City

‘The best pies in the league’

chapter 5|25 pages

MK Dons

Fear and loathing in Milton Keynes

chapter 6|26 pages


‘Champions of Europe’

chapter 7|27 pages


Ethnography in the pub

chapter 8|8 pages


They think it’s all over