ABSTRACT

Successive Labour and Conservative governments gradually increased control over spectators throughout the 1970s. Manipulations to the physical environment in this arena had been ongoing since the post-war period, as sizes of crowds increased and football disorder accompanied the game’s increasing popularity. e long processes of physical manipulation culminated in the 1989 Taylor Report, produced a er the lethal Hillsborough disaster, where ninety-six travelling Liverpool supporters died on 15 April 1989 at an FA Cup semi- nal with She eld Wednesday. Most of those who died were crushed to death or su ocated within the enclosed con nes of an overcrowded pen in the Leppings Lane end of the stadium. Lord Justice Taylor chaired the inquiry into the disaster, and the

ensuing Taylor Report resulted in the widespread commercialization of football, the end of terrace spectating through the introduction of all-seat stadiums, and a signi cant decrease in the levels of football violence. While most sociologists have focused on the drastic changes to the football environment a er the publication of Taylor’s recommendations, this chapter will focus on earlier manipulations of physical space that made disasters like Hillsborough possible in the rst place.1 ough all-seated stadiums eventually provided an answer to immediate fears about crowd safety, the framework for architectural manipulation and spatial division had been in place for many decades. By the 1970s, through policies of fan containment, supporter segregation and restrictive physical barriers, football authorities followed the state’s chief suggestions by manipulating the architectural settings in which football violence took place. Encouraged by the state and British police forces, clubs across Britain facilitated the construction of violent environments that aimed, paradoxically, at preventing violence.