ABSTRACT

Contemporary academic commentators have suggested that, in a general sense, the football arena re ected the axiom that increased social control o en leads to increased social deviance.1 More speci cally, and through the use of documentary evidence in this chapter, I will show that increased police interventions into the social arena of football produced mutual antagonisms between spectators and police which resulted in a greater incidence of police brutality. Police o cials, through the organization of the sports ministry in London, tested new tactics which produced reciprocal enmity between the two social groups in progressively more harsh and violent environments within and around stadiums. Police constables and spectators negotiated new social spaces as they emerged, most o en through interactions between police and fans that became ercely hostile. is chapter shows how in the late 1960s and 1970s these contentious relationships developed over time and were contingent upon directives from government inquiries. Controversial police practices since the 1990s, which have been the focus of other studies, drew on long-standing approaches which developed through fragmentary and unsystematic trials in previous decades.2