How Fans are Taking Back Football
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At a time when football is awash with talk of brands, customers and soaring prices, there’s a growing sense that football has ceased to be the game of the people. Groundswell brings together stories of supporter activism from throughout the sport, documenting the impassioned ranks of fans battling to ensure that football remains accessible and enjoyable for all.
Football writer Michael Sells explores the Leeds United supporters targeting a seat in the boardroom, and the volunteers taking football into the classroom at Football Beyond Borders. He reveals how Football Supporters’ Federation caseworkers are battling discrimination against match-going fans, and the clubs – like south London’s Dulwich Hamlet – fighting prejudice from the stands.
Drawing on a vast bank of collective expertise, increased collaboration between rival fans and sheer strength in numbers, Sells brings to life the men and women who refuse to stand passively by – no collection of romantic idealists refusing to let go of the past. This is evidence that the game – their game – is still very much alive.
Michael Sells is a football writer and long-suffering Leeds fan. He is a shareholder in Leeds Fans United, a member of the Football Supporters Federation and a regular attendee at non-league grounds. He has written four books and worked closely with Sir Geoff Hurst on Geoff Hurst’s Greats (Icon, 2016). He lives in London.