Tag Archive for football

Factors underlying competitive success in youth football: A study of the Swedish national U15 football talent system

by Tor Söderström, Peter BrusvikStefan Lund

Vol. 10 2019, pages 139–162
Published September 9, 2019


This study of Sweden’s 24 football districts analyses whether contextual factors (number of players, number of elite teams, and number of elite players on each district team) influence the district teams’ relative age effect (RAE) and the way in which contextual factors and RAE correlate with the U15 teams’ competitive success. The analysis is based on register data on district players (4,516 girls and 4,501 boys, all 15 years old) who attended an annual elite football camp: birthdate, the total number of players aged 15, club membership, senior elite clubs, proportion of elite players on the district teams, and match outcomes. Based on the birthdates of the players born between 1986 and 1997, a relative age index was constructed for each district. The results showed a relative age effect (RAE) for the selected district players (boys and girls) compared to the general 15-year-old football population; however, birthdate only affected the competitive success of the boys’ district teams. The analysis points out that contextual factors such as the number of football players and the presence of elite clubs are important to consider in order to understand how RAE is produced and its relationship to the success of winning matches for boys’ district teams.

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About the Authors

TOR SÖDERSTRÖM is a Professor in Education at Umeå University.  His research concerns learning and development in higher education and sport, with a particular interest in the development of professional knowledge and skills. Current projects focuses on talent identification and talent development in sports. Over the years, he has contributed with book-chapters and journal articles related to these fields.

PETER BRUSVIK is a PhD student in the Department of Education. Umeå University, Sweden. His research interest focuses on drop-out and continuation processes in sports, particularly football.

STEFAN LUND is an Associate Professor in the Department of of Education and Teachers’ Practice at Linnaeus University, Sweden. His research interests include educational policy, school choice, school culture, multicultural incorporation, and sociology of sports. He has, for example, published School Choice, Ethnic Divisions and Symbolic Boundaries (2015) and articles in the Journal of Education Policy, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Sport, Education and Society.

Genusrelationer i samtränad fotboll: Gränser och utmaningar i ett Idrottslyftsprojekt

by Karin Grahn

Vol. 8 2017, pages 113–138
Published November 6, 2017


Gender relations in co-ed soccer: Border work and challenges in a secondary school project

Idrottslyftet (“a boost for sport”) is a Swedish government-financed sports initiative aiming to activate more young people through sports. One way to achieve this aim is through cooperation between school and sport clubs, whereby a sport coach runs sport activities during the school day. The goal of this article is to analyze how gender relations are shaped, reproduced, or challenged through practices within a co-ed soccer project. An ethnographic field study was conducted in two elementary school classes. The result draws on participant observations of interactions between coach and children, and between the children themselves, and is analyzed through critical discourse analysis and theories of gender relations. A focal point of the analysis is how gender relations are shaped by the use of language (including body language). The result suggests that children are active in shaping and challenging boundaries between girls and boys; however, the structure of the football lesson as well as the coach’s actions and non-actions are also important in shaping gender relations. To enable equality in co-ed sport projects, coaches should be aware of their actions and how they may affect the children that they are teaching, and should also attend to the children’s own gender boundary setting.

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About the Author

KARIN GRAHN is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg. She works within the Sports Coaching program, teaching sociological and pedagogical perspectives on sport and sports coaching. She researches youth sports within a gender perspective, such as analyses of sport coaching textbooks, coaching and gender relations in co-educated sports, and body ideals among competitive athletes. Karin works with diverse qualitative methods mainly within a discourse analytical framework.

Designing Experiences to Increase Stadium Capacity Utilisation in Football

by Sven Junghagen, Simon D. Besjakov & Anders A. Lund

Vol. 7 2016, pages 89–117
Published October 5, 2016


The aim of this paper is to show in what way football clubs in smaller leagues with limited capacity utilisation can increase their per-game revenue by increasing the attendance frequency. A sequential mixed method research design was employed, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods, studying two clubs: Malmö FF in Sweden and FC København in Denmark. In order for the subject clubs to increase the attendance frequency of the spectators, these must be moved towards a higher level of the Psychological Continuum Model. The quantitative phase was comprised of a survey distributed at three separate occasions for each of the subject clubs. Four segments were identified to be of particular interest, two from each of the subject clubs. The two segments defined for Malmö FF were termed Entertainment Seeking Families and the Price Conscious Group of Friends. The two segments defined for FCK were termed Price Sensitive Experience Hunters and Family Focused Fans. It is shown how the two clubs can provide tailored experiences specifically designed towards the identified attendant segments. In doing so, an increased range of psychological associations will be created in the minds of the attendants, thus strengthening the psychological connection, increasing the likelihood of upwards movement in the psychological continuum and rate of attendance.

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About the Authors

SVEN JUNGHAGEN is Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; and Visiting Scholar at the Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University, Sweden. His research addresses strategic management and marketing in, of, and through sport. His primary empirical field of study is professional football clubs in different commercial contexts.

SIMON BESJAKOV holds a MSc degree in Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in International Marketing & Management from Copenhagen Business School. His research interests lie in the financial and managerial implications in managing sports organizations in their sociological setting.

ANDERS LUND holds a MSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School. His primary research interests lie in understanding how sociological theories can be applied in marketing sports organizations and the effects of this on financial performance.

The Janus-faced relationship value of professional sports clubs: A study of Molde Football Club, Norway

by Harald Dolles, Hallgeir Gammelsæter, Oskar Solenes & Solveig Straume

Vol. 7 2016, pages 47–61
Published May 9, 2016


Professional sport clubs can be analyzed according to the extent their offers affect the community and the individual. The “use value” takes into account the individual benefits of watching a sporting competition, whereas the “non-use” reflects the externalities of a sports club and its sports events towards people not particular interested in the sport in question. Both values are commonly investigated within the local context, however in an explorative study of the Norwegian football club Molde FK, a sample of 29 young people that had taken up residence in a different part of the country from where they grew up was analyzed in order to find out what “relationship” value a sports club from their home town still has in their lives. Despite the fact that the sample turned out to contain very few passionate football fans, it also revealed that Molde FK still is present in the lives of non-football fans. We conclude that the football club functions as a frequent reminder of the hometown for people that have migrated, and thus, the non-use value might extend beyond the individual’s (lack of) interest for football. Further, the football club and its activities serve at the same time as a foundation for conversations that might support migrators to extend and to build up social capital at their new location.

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About the Authors

HARALD DOLLES IS Professor in Sport Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. He also is part-time affiliated with the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), where he holds a Professorship in International Business at the School of Business, Economics and Law. Harald frequently contributes to scientific development in the fields of international business, Asian studies and sports management. Among others he serves as European Editor for Sport, Business and Management and acts as Chair of the European Academy of Management (EURAM) strategic interest group (SIG) on ‘Managing Sport’.

HALLGEIR GAMMELSÆTER is Professor in Social Change, Organization and Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. His current research focus is sport and event management, and he has engaged heavily in European Sport Management Association, in the board, as Scientific Chair and currently as associate editor in European Sport Management Quarterly. He has published several articles on sport management in international journals and edited ‘The Organisation of Top Football Across Europe’ (Routledge, 2011).

OSKAR SOLENES is Associated Professor in Sport Management and Dean at the Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics, Norway. He holds a PhD in sport history, studying the development of organized sport for children during the 20th century. His research interest are especially connected to the social cultural values of sport in general, as well as voluntarism and the organizing of children’s and youth sport in special.

SOLVEIG STRAUME is Associate Professor in Sport Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. Her research focus is Sport for Development and Peace, where she has particularly examined sport policy and development in Africa. Her work have been published in a variety of journals such as International Journal of Sport Policy and PoliticsSport in Society and The International Journal of the History of Sport.

Varför är det tjejer som spelar damfotboll? Om formande, genus och (re-)produktion av ojämställd idrott

by Jesper Fundberg & Lars Lagergren

Vol. 6 2015, pages 65–83
Published September 3, 2015


Can Girls Become Footballers? About formation of gender and (re-)production of inequality

The aim of this article is to discuss the formation of female elite athletes as a gender shaping process through a power perspective. The concepts productive power and biopower together with theories of male hegemony are applied in the analysis. Interviews, observations and surveys were methods employed to collect the empirical material. The processes of selection in an elite soccer club were examined in order to understand how expectations are communicated and filled with meaning, and which words and designations were used by leaders and parents when communicating with the young players. Our data showed that the players received a much clearer response as girls than as soccer players. Neither leaders nor parents saw soccer as a career choice. Put together, this creates a paradox: it’s only the girl who resists and challenges these low expectations by creating her own, that can reach the top level as a professional footballer and not as a girl or woman playing soccer.

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About the Authors

JESPER FUNDBERG is PhD in Ethnology and Associate Professor of Sport Sciences at Malmö University. His research focuses on gender and diversity aspects of sports.

LARS LAGERGREN is PhD in Technology and social change and Associate Professor of Sport Sciences and Leisure Studies. Research interests are adult organisation and governance of youth sports and youth work.

Sex, Football and the Media – The Case of South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

by Maria Zuiderveld

Vol. 4 2013, pages 25–48
Published April 10, 2013


This study examines how gender interplays with the news agenda during a very large scale event, in a country still undergoing political transition and where journalism plays a significant role in the nation-building process. The present study brings new knowledge to this area by examining the news agendas in South Africa on a specific gender-related issue: the rights of sex workers and trafficking victims, concerning men and children as well, but women in particular. This issue is often debated in connection with global sports events such as the World Cup. Drawing on interviews with media practitioners and on discourse analysis, the purpose of this study was to examine the news discourse on sex labour and trafficking and the connection with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The findings suggest that the media discourse during the event was permeated with the rhetoric of nation-building. The combination of sport, media, and nationalism in a country in transition resulted in the ‘symbolic annihilation’ (Tuchman, 1978b) of a specific gender issue.

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About the Author

MARIA ZUIDERVELD is a PhD-student of Journalism at The Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, Stockholm University, and Lecturer in Journalism at Södertörn University. Her thesis focuses on gender in the newsroom in southern Africa. She has previously worked as a reporter and news presenter for the Swedish public service television broadcaster SVT.

Att äga en (huligan-) berättelse: Mediers konstruktion av fotbollsvåld

by Aage Radmann

Vol. 3 2012, pages 97–120
Published June 6, 2012


Creating a (hooligan) narrative: Media’s construction of football violence
The purpose of this article is to interpret and analyze the phenomenon of football hooliganism as presented in “old” print media and “new” digital media. A central issue explored in this article is possible differences between descriptions of the event in the old and new media. Research of the old media’s concept of hooliganism shows that media can create a panic that leads to demands for stricter regulations. In this article I have tried to demonstrate that discussions are even more fierce in some types of new media. It is difficult to clearly distinguish between old and new media. Descriptions and interpretations of the football landscape in the old media create the impression that Swedish football has o problem with meaningless violence and increasing hooliganism. The “high-risk supporters” are depicted as a serious threat to Swedish football, and as enemies of football in general. However, this narrative is also repeated by parts of the new media. In the article, I contextualize (media) images of a hooligan event and make visible the power struggle between different media actors around the question of “good football culture” versus “hooliganism”, a tug-of-war that will affect the Swedish football landscape to the core.

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About the Author

AAGE RADMANN is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University, Sweden. Aage is a social scientist and his main research interests are within sociology of sport, sport and media, football culture and hooliganism. His research is inspired both from traditional sociology and theories about the new media context. He uses the football landscape as a prism to understand the interplay between individuals (e.g. hooligans), groups (football firms vs. police forces), and on a structural level (media and identity). His latest publications are “The Structure of Sport Violence” – (Idrottsvåldets karaktär, 2012) for the Swedish National Inquiry in Sport and Violence, SOU 2012:23, p 235-304, and “The New Media and Hooliganism” (2012), in We love to hate each other. Mediated Football Fan culture, Krövel & Roksvold (eds.), Gothenburg, Sweden: Nordicom.

Consuming Football: The Norwegian Experience, the English Impact, and the Possibilities of Interdisciplinary Research

by Ingar Mehus & Guy Osborn

Vol. 1 2010, pages 89–113
Published October 13, 2010


The article adopts as its point of departure an interdisciplinary approach to sports study, and celebrates the cross-pollination of disciplines. Specifically, it argues that the transformation of English football has served as a model for the modernization of football in Norway. Football is a global sport, and regulation of football and its spectators in other countries are thus of interest when aiming to understand the commitment and consumption patterns of football spectators in Norway. The empirical study surveys spectators (N=394) at two home matches of Rosenborg Ballklubb and investigates the relationship between motives for attending, team identification and direct and indirect consumption. A statistical model was developed, explaining 20 percent of the variance in attendance. The sample containing mostly women and families score higher on social motives and consume less football, both direct and indirect. However, there is little separating the two samples when it comes to team identification and the importance of excitement motives. The stability in motivational pattern, together with the high exchange rate of spectators between matches shows that it is difficult to separate fans from non-fans. It is concluded that viewing the phenomenon of football attendance from different disciplinary perspectives provide a more rounded understanding.

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About the Author(s)

INGAR MEHUS is affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Dept. of Sociology and Political Science.

GUY OSBORN is Professor of Law, University of Westminster, School of Law, and affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.