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What Does Media Sport Cultivate? Lessons From ‘MyFootballClub’

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Abstract:

For much of the late 20th century, soccer supporters articulated ‘authentic’ identities by announcing their hostility to media. Television, for example, was blamed for alienating the sport from its traditions. Yet today, it is almost impossible to be a fan or supporter without access to digital media. So what happens when soccer’s traditions depend on media?

This paper considers this question in a study of “MyFootballClub”. MFC is a Website which, in 2007, allowed 30,000 subscribing members to purchase and ‘take control’ of Ebbsfleet United, a real, semi-professional English football club. MFC exemplifies how digital media seamlessly reconcile contradictory positions. MFC promises to resurrect traditional supporter experiences through technologies that football fans have long chastised for killing ‘the people’s game.’ How do fans and supporters make sense of this ambition, and what do their actions and views say about the nature of power at play in ‘sport-as-digital media’ cultures?


Andy Ruddock Lecturer in Communications at Monash University. He is author of Understanding Audiences (2001, Sage) and Investigating Audiences (2007, Sage) and has published on political celebrity, sport and racism.
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Ruddock, Andy., Rowe, David. and Hutchins, Brett. "What Does Media Sport Cultivate? Lessons From ‘MyFootballClub’" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404901_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ruddock, A. D., Rowe, D. and Hutchins, B. "What Does Media Sport Cultivate? Lessons From ‘MyFootballClub’" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404901_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: For much of the late 20th century, soccer supporters articulated ‘authentic’ identities by announcing their hostility to media. Television, for example, was blamed for alienating the sport from its traditions. Yet today, it is almost impossible to be a fan or supporter without access to digital media. So what happens when soccer’s traditions depend on media?

This paper considers this question in a study of “MyFootballClub”. MFC is a Website which, in 2007, allowed 30,000 subscribing members to purchase and ‘take control’ of Ebbsfleet United, a real, semi-professional English football club. MFC exemplifies how digital media seamlessly reconcile contradictory positions. MFC promises to resurrect traditional supporter experiences through technologies that football fans have long chastised for killing ‘the people’s game.’ How do fans and supporters make sense of this ambition, and what do their actions and views say about the nature of power at play in ‘sport-as-digital media’ cultures?


Andy Ruddock Lecturer in Communications at Monash University. He is author of Understanding Audiences (2001, Sage) and Investigating Audiences (2007, Sage) and has published on political celebrity, sport and racism.


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