The European football industry is still a sector where promising business areas can be glimpsed for various sports business operators. Still, clubs have long been forced to deal with financial crises, rising costs, and indebtedness. The pandemic has exacerbated some of the long-term problems, with unsatisfactory measures by football’s governing institutions. Against this backdrop, several European top clubs have tried to give substance to the project of a Super League, a competition that would include only the most prestigious teams. In the proponents’ intentions, the idea was to create a more saleable spectacle and multiply revenues. The project generated debates on its usefulness, for the clubs and the entire football movement, or on its ethical legitimacy. Fans have also been able to debate this issue, especially on social media, on the basis of football identities, affiliations and conflicts or prevailing meanings (not only sporting) in which they projected themselves and became spokespeople in the Web environments. The paper aims to study part of the fan debate on social media. We will select online communities of fans of three football clubs, choose on the basis of the number of fans and consistency in the production of content, with the specific identification of a) a fan community of a club that joined the project; b) a fan community of a club that withdrew from the project after an initial adhesion; c) a fan community of a club excluded from the beginning. After we identified the communities, we will carry out a media content analysis, to understand the main ideas through which fans build a sense of their football identity in a crisis scenario.

Super League, football industry and crisis rhetoric: an analysis of the fan debate on social media

Tirino, Mario;Castellano, Simona;Bifulco, Luca
2022

Abstract

The European football industry is still a sector where promising business areas can be glimpsed for various sports business operators. Still, clubs have long been forced to deal with financial crises, rising costs, and indebtedness. The pandemic has exacerbated some of the long-term problems, with unsatisfactory measures by football’s governing institutions. Against this backdrop, several European top clubs have tried to give substance to the project of a Super League, a competition that would include only the most prestigious teams. In the proponents’ intentions, the idea was to create a more saleable spectacle and multiply revenues. The project generated debates on its usefulness, for the clubs and the entire football movement, or on its ethical legitimacy. Fans have also been able to debate this issue, especially on social media, on the basis of football identities, affiliations and conflicts or prevailing meanings (not only sporting) in which they projected themselves and became spokespeople in the Web environments. The paper aims to study part of the fan debate on social media. We will select online communities of fans of three football clubs, choose on the basis of the number of fans and consistency in the production of content, with the specific identification of a) a fan community of a club that joined the project; b) a fan community of a club that withdrew from the project after an initial adhesion; c) a fan community of a club excluded from the beginning. After we identified the communities, we will carry out a media content analysis, to understand the main ideas through which fans build a sense of their football identity in a crisis scenario.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4806611
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