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‘Over here’: ‘Americanization’ and the new politics of football club ownership – the case of Liverpool FC

By John M. Williams and Stephen Hopkins

Abstract

This paper focuses on arguments concerning sport and Americanization, especially in relation to English Premier League football clubs. The central case study here is of Liverpool football club in the north-west of England. The recent economic trajectory of football in England is analysed, as is the current attractiveness of the English game to foreign investors. The specific history and traditions of the Liverpool club and the city of Liverpool is offered as a means of contextualizing the initial response locally to the leveraged buyout by Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr early in 2007. The paper considers the almost complete breakdown of relations between the new owners and Liverpool fans between autumn 2007 and spring 2008. It concludes that in attempting to maintain core aspects of the Liverpool club's organic traditions the Liverpool board, paradoxically, paved the way to the excessive commodification of the club and the alienation of many of its own supporters.Peer reviewedPost prin

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1080/17430437.2011.546517
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9519
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