Saturday, November 30, 2013

Portsmouth Football Club - Whither Our ‘Community’ Club?

Roger Welch , a member of the Portsmouth Supporters Trust, returns to Inside Left to examine what Guy Whittingham's recent departure from Portsmouth Football Club tells us about how the fan owned club is run.

Five years ago on the day this piece was written (November 28 2013), until Filippo Inzaghi scored an injury time equaliser, Pompey were a Premiership club, holders of the FA cup and two minutes away from an historic 2-1 victory over AC Milan in the UEFA cup. Today, Pompey is a so-called community owned club in League 2 with a relegation battle beckoning to stay in the Football League.

In my previous blog for Inside Left I wrote in support of the battle by the Portsmouth Supporters Trust to force Balram Chanrai to sell the club to it. I also wrote in this blog that, should the Trust succeed, there were questions marks over the extent to which Pompey truly would be a club owned and run by the fans. The fact that the bid to buy the club along with Fratton Park did succeed is undoubtedly significant progress, and should ensure that never again will Pompey be involved in the murky financial world and dealings that forced the club to go twice into administration in the Gaydamak, Storrie and Chanrai years. Some of the goings on in this period have been exposed in articles by The Guardian’s sports writer, David Conn. (See, for example, Pompey back on brink as extent of club’s mishandling is laid bare.)

Since the Trust have taken over the club there have been two events (see below) that, for me, have shown that, whilst as the boards around Fratton Park proclaim, the ground and the club are now owned by fans the club is not owned and run by the fans as a collective whole. Rather the club is owned and run by a small group of wealthy businessmen, although all of these people are genuine fans. The extent to which Trust members (themselves a small minority of Pompey fans as a whole) have any say at all is restricted to one occasion a year – this being the AGM of the Trust at which members can move and vote on resolutions and elect the members of the Trust board. This board then decides which of its members will go on to the Club’s board, and the remaining directors are the non-elected and self-styled Presidents of the club who had the personal wealth to put up the bulk of the funds to enable the Trust to buy the club. The Trust has a 51% shareholding in the club, but the chances are that the members of the Trust board who also sit as Directors on the club’s board will continue to be friends of the Presidents and therefore the club will continue to be run by a small self-perpetuating clique.

Formally speaking, of course, it is possible to not to re-elect the same members of the Trust’s board and for this board to vote people on to the club’s board who will act as a counter-weight to the Presidents. However, as many readers of Inside Left will know from their own experiences as trade unionists and/or past or present members of far left groups (though there are exceptions such as the Anti Capitalist Initiative, the International Socialist Network and Socialist Resistance), the dynamics of power relations are such that it is difficult to near impossible to dislodge existing leaderships who have control of the resources and networks to remain in power. This is particularly so where dissenting individuals do not have the same logistical mechanisms, as possessed by leaderships, to identify and collaborate with co-thinkers with view to challenging the former. This is even more so where key democratic decisions can only be taken once a year - be it at an annual conference or, in the case of the Pompey Supporters Trust, at an AGM.

The two events which have caused me to voice my concerns were firstly the Club’s decision to sign up to the Tory’s slave labour scheme by employing unpaid young people on benefits to make improvements to the stadium, and secondly and more recently the decision to sack Guy Whittingham as team manager. I was, of course, politically opposed to the exploitation of young workers who would have lost their benefits if they had not agreed to do this work, but I recognise this may have been a minority view amongst Pompey fans. Similarly, I was probably part of a minority of fans who opposed Whittingham’s sacking, although I suspect that there were a fair number of fans who thought his time had come but nevertheless were dismayed at the abrupt and brutal manner of his sacking. In archetypical footballing fashion Whittingham had publicly received the chairman’s dreaded vote of confidence only to find himself out of his job days later. In this case Whittingham was so confident that his job remained secure that, immediately prior to being sacked, he had given his weekly press conference at which he stated he was certain he retained the full backing of the board (for the full story see Neil Allen, Bell Tolled for Whittingham as Pompey get Ruthless, The News, 28/11/2013.

However, a major component part of any true democratic process is that there are effective mechanisms whereby minorities can seek to become majorities and change policies and practices accordingly. In the case of the Supporters Trust there is not even an online discussion board or email discussion list through which individual members can state their views and seek to identify like-minded people. As I have said above, Pompey is not so much a club owned and run by the fans but by a small and wealthy elite. In saying this I must emphasise I do not impute any bad practice or bad faith on the part of this group in taking the initiative to set up the Trust and fight the lengthy and costly court battles to defeat Chanrai. But I think many of us were caught up in the emotional rhetoric of establishing the largest community owned club in the country and believed we would have more say in how the club is run than has actually proved to be the case. Moreover, I must say that for myself, as a lawyer, I should have known better than to have failed to read the small print, where everything was made clear, and probably in any case would have donated my £1000 to help save the club as I could afford to do so.

How could a genuine community club be run? Well, ideally, Trust members would directly elect the whole of the club board and any member could seek nomination to become a club director. I suspect this is constitutionally and legally impossible under the current set up as this would involve liquidating the current company that owns Pompey and replacing it with a new company with a new constitution. However, it would be practically possible to amend the Trust’s constitution to provide for direct election of Trust members to the club’s board. It would certainly be possible to set up an online discussion board etc. Moreover, membership of the Trust could now be made open to any individual Pompey fan prepared to pay a small annual affiliation fee and who would then have equal voting rights with original Trust members. Footballing decisions concerned with running the team have to be left to the manager and his or her coaching staff, and clearly it is only specific representatives of the club who can draw up and sign employment contracts, sponsorship deals and the like. However, key decisions, such as the identity of club sponsors and the termination of a manager’s contract, should be subject to ratification by the Trust’s members, and if necessary this could be done relatively quickly by using online technologies. Fans should also be in a position where they can veto the appointment of a specific manager such as the fascist Di Canio. There should be regular meetings of Trust members where opinions can be voiced and exchanged. The ultimate democratic mechanism would be providing for the immediate recall of board members, individually or collectively, through enabling Trust members to propose and vote on motions of no confidence.

Under things as they stand could such developments happen at Pompey? Almost certainly not! However, I do believe that a football club could effectively and efficiently operate in this way and that such a club would genuinely be a community club owned and run by its fans.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Books For A Season Of Rain And Grey Skies

Mark Perryman of Philosophy Football reviews an autumn of sports books.

It was three decades ago, in 1983, that Garry Whannel wrote the pioneering book Blowing the Whistle: The Politics of Sport. The book was part of a series ‘Arguments for Socialism’, created by The Socialist Society, an alliance of Left-wing thinkers, writers and campaigners, and published by Pluto Press. Despite the dreadful defeats at the hands of Thatcherism, and the jingoistic aftermath of the Falklands War the Left felt livelier, more open-minded and with a greater sense of ambition and purposefulness than it sometimes does today. Garry’s book, reminding the Left that sport and leisure matters was part of this liveliness. He summed up what was then a prevailing attitude both on the Left and the Right and remains largely the same 30 years on today in the book’s neatest of phrases. “ Sport is marked down as a natural, taken-for-granted activity. You don’t need to talk or write about it. You just do it.” The book was a few years ago republished in an updated and revised form Culture, Politics and Sport and remains one of the defining texts for any serious understanding of sport.

One of the huge changes since Garry Whannel wrote those words is the breadth and number of sports books published. David Epstein’s The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete is the kind of book, immersed as it is in the nurture vs nature debate, that connects sport, knowingly or unknowingly, to much broader issues and reveals it as anything but ‘Just Done’. Incisive, a book that examines the varied conditions that creates sport’s winners . A very different approach to the same subject was offered by Christopher McDougall in his classic book Born to Run. This is sport as anthropology, examining the phenomenal endurance running of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico then translating this into a manifesto for the simple appeal of running, including in its purest form, barefoot.

The ‘bare essentials’ is hardly how the modern sport of cycling is best described. With the genius behind the two-wheeled success of Team GB and Team Sky Dave Brailsford describing his philosophy as the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ the attention paid to the smallest engineering, physiological and psychological detail is obvious. It is an evolution that is retold quite thrillingly in Edward Pickering’s book The Race Against Time. This is the story of the 1990s rivalry of Chris Boardman vs Graeme Obree and their battle for the one hour track cycling record. Boardman remains well-known today thanks to his TV work as a pundit, Obree meanwhile has become a virtual recluse, a superbly gifted athlete who doubles up as an inventor. It’s a great story, which in many ways created the base for the later success of Hoy, Pendleton, Wiggins, Cavendish, Froome and Trott. The story behind the most successful sport in British sporting history, track and road cycling, is revealed in an honest and well-written account provided by Team GB Elite Coach and Team Sky Performance Manager Rod Ellingworth in his book. One of the most refreshing aspects of cycling as a sport is the key protagonists’ willingness to engage openly with their public. Cycling ’s openness may be in part due to the legacy of the criminal cover-ups that we now know dominated the Armstrong era but whatever the reason it is a sport now keen readers can acquire a fill and proper insight into, Rod Ellingworth’s book is testament to that. The same can be said for two autobiographies from cyclists who straddle cycling ‘Before and after Wiggo ’. For years Sean Yates was by far and away the most successful British rider in the Tour de France since Tommy Simpson. Then came Cavendish, Froome and most of all Wiggins. After retiring from racing Sean Yates was to become Team Sky’s Race Director and a figure central to Wiggins’ 2012 Tour victory. His book It’s All About The Bike is a great and once again revealing book. Easy Rider by former racer Rob Hayles covers a slightly later period. As the success of track cycling began to take off after British success at the Athens 2004 Olympics, eventually to be translated into success on the road too. Rob Hayles was one of the pioneers of that breakthrough and provides a fascinating account of the reasons why British cycling became, and remains, such a success story.

Socialist sportswriter Gareth Edwards makes an interesting case in a three-part online essay for taking the playful appeal of sport seriously. To that end many of these books are about only one, distinctly minority, aspect of sport, competition at an elite level. Most of us who ‘do’ sport just do it for leisure, recreation and pleasure. Some compete, most don’t, and it is competitive sport that has suffered the most severe decline in levels of participation. The Rules : The Way of the Cycling Disciple is in this regard a very different kind of sports book. It’s about the likes of us who are never going to win a race let alone enter a national, European or World Championship for glory .We just get on our bikes to stretch ourselves in the cause of some kind of enjoyment. That’s not to say such sport doesn’t have its own culture and this book seeks to catalogue precisely this, with a touch of ultra-narcissism on occasion. But perhaps we need to broaden our definition of sport, or at least physical activities much broader, to include the recreational. It would be hard to justify ‘walking’ as any kind of sport, but it is the most common form of physical activity most of us take pat in, sometimes with a dog, a relationship wonderfully chronicled in Harry Pearson’s book Hound Dog Days.

Once the football season starts, and nowadays it never seems to end, most other sports, never mind any coverage of recreational, and non-competitive sports are pushed off the back pages to the exclusion of coverage of almost anything apart from football. Two recent biographies, Dennis Bergkamp’s Stillness and Speed and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s I Am Zlatan get to grips with football’s undoubted appeal to the fans. Both are a pleasant respite from the ghost-written dross served up by most players, and managers, including Ferguson’s non-revelatory latest. Perhaps because in both cases these are foreign players, writing for a non-English audience, with well-chosen co-writers, in Bergkamp’s case the superlative David Winner. And the result are books that begin to explore in a serious way football’s enduringly hegemonic appeal, now on a global scale. Mike Carson’s The Manager is a different kind of endeavour, putting fans’, and the media’s, obsession with football’s managers in a broader context of the cult of managerialism, framed primarily by business culture. Insightful and thought-provoking, a great read for the next time a club’s manager is sacked. Lose to a rival, and any manager is going to be under pressure. In world football few rivalries provoke such interest and passion as Real vs Barca. Sid Lowe’s Fear and Loathing in La Liga is unsurprisingly very good, Sid Lowe is the always well-informed Spanish football correspondent of the Guardian. Combining the historical, cultural, political, because as Garry Whannel had patiently explained 30 years ago sport is shaped by all three and there’s not a better example of this truism than Barca vs Real, which Sid Lowe explains with an eye for detail and pacey writing to create a really good read. Spain are of course the reigning European and World Champions, England meanwhile have managed to squeeze past Montenegro, Poland and the Ukraine to at least qualify for World Cup 2014 but with no one, including the team captain, expecting them to get anywhere close to winning the tournament. What’s new? No semi-final appearance by England since Euro ‘96, one single semi-final appearance at a tournament outside of England, at Italia ‘90. So in a sense why are so many of us surprised when England’s prospects remain so dire? A combination of the ‘66 legacy, the burden of Imperial history, two World Wars oh and inventing the game, plus the self-appointed Greatest League in the World. For a coach-centred grassroots analysis of what is wrong with a football culture incapable of producing enough technically gifted players to muster a decent national team there’s no better book than Matthew Whitehouse’s outstanding The Way Forward: Solutions to England’s Football Failings.

Nine years after Garry Whannel’s socialist analysis of sport was published Nick Hornby wrote the best-selling Fever Pitch. The rest is, publishing, history. The bookshop shelves are heaving with an ever-expanding range of sports titles, many of them treat sport in that ‘just done it’ unproblematic way that Garry critiqued. In his own way Nick Hornby taught us something different, the meaning of sport in general, football in particular, the way that it connects with us emotionally, as individuals, impacting on our relationships, and group loyalties. Hornby wrote in that most feminine of styles the confessional and his writing touched his audience, mainly male, in a previously unheard of way because of it. Two decades on much of today's sportswriting has reverted to type, but there remain precious exceptions.

My book of the sporting quarter stands out precisely because it is is exceptional. Author Michael Calvin’s previous book on Millwall, Family: Life, Death and Football already stood serious comparison with Fever Pitch as an all-time sportswriting classic. With his new book The Nowhere Men Calvin has produced an even better book. The extraordinary, and untold, tale of football’s Scouts, how talent is discovered, often missed, recruited by the clubs, looked after, not always very well, and ends up the other end as a Premier League superstar. Sportswriting at its very best: investigative, compelling and revealing.

No links in this review are to Amazon. If you can avoid purchasing from the tax-dodgers please do so. 

Mark Perryman is the co-founder of the self-styled ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’ aka Philosophy Football

Friday, October 11, 2013

Jack Wilshire and the Ghost of Norman Tebbit

Taxi for Jack Wilshire! Earlier this week Wilshire, the 22 year old Arsenal and England midfielder, committed the cardinal sin of saying something extremely stupid at the single most inopportune time. Speaking to the BBC, Wilshire explained that he believes the England team should be for ‘English’ players. Coming hard upon the announcement that tin-pot fuhrer Tommy Robinson had left the English Defence League, Wilshire’s remarks give the unfortunate impression he is ready to challenge for the vacant leadership post:
"We have to remember what we are. We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat. We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that. The only people who should play for England are English people. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years, I'm not going to play for Spain."
 From such evidence one can only conclude that Wilshire has all the awareness and media-savvy of Godfrey Bloom on PCP. At the civil partnership ceremony of two black lesbians. From Poland. Arsene Wenger must be shitting kittens.
What is most striking – lazy stereotypes of national footballing cultures aside – is how little ambition Wilshire seems to have. England he tells us are “brave” and “tackle hard”, not like those “technical” Spaniards. This is what we “have to remember”. Yes, exactly. You wouldn’t want England to play like Spain now, would you? Who wants to play brilliant football or win trophies, eh? Never mind the inconvenient truth that the last two times England have reached the semi-final of a major championship – Italia ’90 and Euro ’96 – the team was packed with technically proficient, attack minded players. Wilshire is at least right about one thing: even if he lived in the country for five years he wouldn’t play for Spain. This, however, has nothing to do with his patriotism and everything to do with not being good enough.
The context for his meanderings was the explosive debut of Manchester United teenager Adnan Januzaj, who scored both goals in the Reds 2-1 victory over Sunderland. Januzaj is eligible to play international football for a number of different countries, and could theoretically play for England at some future point, assuming he were to meet the five year residency requirement. To date the voice of Januzaj has been missing from the whole affair. To the best of my knowledge he has made neither a statement nor a decision about his international future, although it appears he has so far spurned the advances of Belgium. It may well be that he wants to represent Turkey, Serbia or Albania. There is certainly no indication that he wishes to commit to an international career of scraping qualification for major championships before exiting, via penalty shoot-out, in the early knockout rounds.
Wilshire subsequently took to Twitter claiming, rather unconvincingly, he was not referring to this particular case. Later he received support from Alan Shearer – a kiss of death if ever there was one - who said, “I am of the opinion that to be English you should be born in England.” What this means for the likes of current England internationals Raheem Sterling and Wilfred Zaha, born in Jamaica and the Ivory Coast respectively, remains to be seen. Maybe Wilshire and Shearer are of the view that ex-England stars John Barnes and Terry Butcher, neither of whom was born in England, should hand back the combined 156 caps they won during their careers.
It is unclear whether or not Wilshire intended his sound-bites to come across in such a crass manner. I, for one, would be surprised if the lad has investigated the concept of nationality in a globalised world with significant intellectual rigour. But the very fact that these comments were ill-thought through demonstrates how pervasive the growing narrative of them and us has become in English football. Or to put it somewhat more accurately: the narrative that there are too many of them in the English game and not enough of us.
This is the line being peddled by the likes of new FA head honcho, Greg Dyke, although the man who once controlled the BBC is more careful in his use of language than your average footballer. It is the argument being pushed by Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, the two recently retired Premiership stalwarts now paid to air their views on Sky Sports. It seems they remain totally oblivious to the fact that their paymaster is an Australian with greater influence over the English game than anyone from this country. The icing on the cake was provided by the millionaire ex-pat Vinny Jones recently bemoaning that England has become “unrecognisable” from the country of his youth.
The trouble is that Wilshire pronouncements are more insidious than the standard racist line of “They took our jobs!” It seems to suggest that players from different countries possess certain innate qualities. Moreover, in saying he would never represent a national team other than that of the country of his birth, there is an implication that England players born beyond these shores would not give their all when wearing the three lions. This is exactly the kind of crap racists once threw at John Barnes. And there is just the faintest echo of the notorious Tebbit test.
In 1990 Norman Tebbit, a hard-line Conservative backbencher, proposed a way in which the loyalties of Asian immigrants living in the UK could be tested: who did they cheer for when England played cricket against India or Pakistan? He dressed his miserable racism in the language of “integration” but the implication was clear enough. People born abroad could never be considered truly British – whatever that might be. It provoked a memorable response from the veteran Labour left-winger, Dennis Skinner. When asked which team he would cheer on he replied simply, “Anyone but England.”
This is not to suggest a line of moral equivalence between Tebbit and Wilshire. Tebbit’s was the considered, deliberate intervention of a vile racist; Wilshire‘s an unpleasant, knee-jerk reaction. But the cricket reference is apt because it was left to Kevin Pietersen to take Wilshire to task. The South-African born England batsman castigated the footballer, tweeting, "Interested to know how you define foreigner...? Would that include me, Strauss, Trott, Prior, Justin Rose, Froome, Mo Farah? Same difference. It's about representing your country! IN ANY SPORT!"
Pietersen has a point. What’s more he could have picked scores of other sportsmen and women as examples. The worlds of cricket, rugby, athletics and cycling have adjusted to a world where the cosy certainty of national identity is long gone – if those times ever really existed at all. People have dual-nationalities, parents from opposite sides of the globe. They are displaced by war and famine, or simply travel to find work. By comparison football, once again, seems to be struggling to come to terms with this reality.
At least England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate is aware of the issue “We have lots of boys in our squad who were not born here, whose families have fled here. There are some wonderful stories and they are all incredibly proud to play for England. I'm torn with it. The world is changing. People move and work abroad. It is important to know why someone wants to play for you." Wilshire should pay heed to the former England defender, if for no other reason than out of respect for his international teammates Sterling and Zaha. After a blistering start to the Premiership campaign the Arsenal youngster has one foot in next year’s World Cup squad. Unfortunately he currently has his other foot in his mouth. He would do well to remove the offending appendage post haste.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Capitalism and Sport - Book Launch

Despite the fact millions of working class people regularly enjoy playing and watching sports, the left seemingly has had little to say on the subject. On those occasions when socialists and Marxists have not wilfully ignored sports their attitude has all too often been characterised by a dismissive or disdainful tone.

For this reason the release of Capitalism and Sport: Politics, Protest, People & Play, edited by Michael Lavalette, is most welcome. It contains 42 short essays by a range of  writers on the history, politics and economics of sport. It tackles issues of sexism, racism and homophobia in sport, globalisation, and the role of big business. Importantly it also looks at how the world of sports can become a venue for struggle and resistance, including pieces on: Palestinian footballer, Mahmoud Sarsak; the 1968 Mexico Olympics; the on-going campaign for justice for those killed at Hillsborough; Celtic's Green Brigade and more besides.

As Lavalette outlines in his introduction: "Collectively the book is about opening up debate on issues of capitalism and sport. It presents a series of different takes on sport in modern society from people who see themselves as political activists who enjoy sport, and think that those of us on the left have something important to say about the various worlds of sport and the resistance it can generate."

To mark the book's launch the London Socialist Historians Group will be hosting a Capitalism and Sport event as part of their series of October seminars. Four of the people who contributed pieces to the book will be speaking: Hazel Potter, Keith Flett, David Renton and myself.

Despite writing a chapter on the birth of modern sport and another on the physical culture debate in Russia post-1917, I've been asked to talk about something I'm currently doing some research on. So you can expect either a rambling contribution on the history of anti-Olympic protest, or a rambling contribution on the life of Lindy Delapenha - Portsmouth Football Club's first black player. No doubt the discussion will see a host of sporting topics covered and a huge range of questions asked. The left doesn't talk about sport very often - so don't miss this opportunity!

Capitalism and Sport - Some Histories
Book launch with Gareth Edwards (Portsmouth), Keith Flett, Hazel Potter, David Renton
21 October 2013, 5.30pm
Venue: Bloomsbury Room G35, Ground floor, Senate House.
email Keith Flett, for more information.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

lives; running - A Hack Review

David Renton’s book lives; running, released in the summer of last year, received little coverage in the Party’s publications. We should have paid closer attention. While a book about running may seem an unlikely allegory for factionalising, lives; running is quite clearly, to use a lamentable term, a prefiguration. As the immortal David Frost once opined on Through The Keyhole, “Look closely, comrades. The clues are there.” Carefully read, the book reveals how plans to establish permanent factions have been festering away far longer than anyone expected. For those of us who have lived through the last year, watching as the “opposition” embarked upon its wilful destruction of our party, reading lives; running is like discovering the road-map to ruination. You will wish you had read it much earlier.
Although the book claims to be about running, it is patently obvious that David Renton has written a book about David Renton. Claiming that it is, in part, an autobiography – a personal account of his own running experiences – is simply excuse-mongering, a convenient cover for his own egotism. One need not be surprised; this is the same exercise in self-justification that oozes from his blog (which even has the same name as the book!). Online Renton presents his writing as an attempt to “re-think” our politics when in actual fact it is nothing more than a capitulation to feminism. And, while we’re on the subject - what is his obsession with the semi-colon? It lies somewhere between the steely determination of the full stop and the half-hearted gradualism of the comma; truly the centrist of the punctuation world.
Of course Renton’s drift from Leninism has been a long term development: more of a long-distance race than a sprint, if you will. As he makes clear in the book, not only has he been running since the 1980s, he has actually liked it. To secretly enjoy watching a bit of football is one thing. It is quite another for a “comrade” who claims to be a revolutionary to openly state that he happily participated in competitive sport. There is not a word of regret or remorse on this question. Blatantly the cold winds of reformism have been blowing through Renton’s life for a good long while.
At various points in the book he ponders on the rivalry between middle-distance runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. Renton would have us believe that, during their clashes in the 1970s and 1980s, the two athletes came to represent something more than simply a couple of blokes running around a track. Ovett was the worker; Coe the Tory. To suggest that Ovett and Coe were some sort of proxy for the class war is, of course, a ridiculous assertion. What Renton struggles to comprehend is that no matter how many races Ovett won it had no bearing on the real world. Already at this early stage Renton was seeking someone to win victories on behalf of the working class, rather than seeing the class itself as the agent of social change.
Indeed, it is noticeable how the organised working class plays very little role in Renton’s book – in particular, public sector workers who run are conspicuous by their absence. With a major part of lives; running set in the 1980s Renton is forced to reference the miners’ strike.  It is illustrative of his general pessimism that the one time he makes mention of the working class is during a defeat, rather than choosing an example of successful industrial action. In part, one suspects that the absence of optimism in lives: running is the result of a flawed understanding about the relationship between party and class on the part of the author.
To use our own analogy: think of the class as a running race. Some workers are at the back of the pack, others nearer to the front. The Party is represented by the runner at the very front – constantly pushing the pace on, finding new gears, re-doubling their efforts to stay in the lead. Round and round we go, more and more laps of the track completed, until eventually we win. In Renton’s view, running is most fun when people are bunched together, a mass of arms and legs and rightward shifting reformist ideas.
In another attack on the concept of the revolutionary party, Renton returns to the cases of Ovett and Coe, exploring the role of their parents in fostering and nurturing their talents. Here I think Renton is, quite simply, wrong. Time and again he teases out how mothers and fathers can impact negatively on runners, without ever accentuating the great value and wisdom they can impart as teachers. It is as though he neglects completely any sort of paternal guidance. As you progress through the book you begin to wonder if he will ever end his criticisms of athletics from the past thirty years. Renton clearly believes that the 1970s were some sort of golden, democratic age for running and at times one expects him to reveal that Peter Sedgewick, Dave Widgery and Duncan Hallas were the founding members of the Socialist Democratic Jogging Society.
Towards the end of the book Renton finally comes clean. He talks of how he once gave up on running, and how it lured him back with its promises of fulfilment, activity and expression. But it has come at a price. When he now runs he tires quicker, finds he is more susceptible to injury, has to run at a slower pace than before. No doubt to a casual observer these references will seem innocent enough. But who in the Party could miss their real meaning? David no longer takes the same joy in revolutionary activity that he once did, moaning that long-standing comrades have caused him injury. His conclusion is to run (i.e. do politics) at a different pace (i.e. a reformist pace). Renton would do well to remember that in the marathon of socialism, the bottles of distilled Leninism on the pasting tables of struggle, laid out at the side of the road of revolution, give us the strength to reach the finish line.

Friday, October 4, 2013

How Capitalism Killed The Old Ways Of Playing

This is the final post in a series looking at the theoretical and historical relationship between play, sports and capitalism. For those of you interested the earlier pieces can be found here: Towards a Marxist Definition of Play; The Relationship Between Play and Sport; The Birth of Modern Sport - The Ideological Context.

   “The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich.”[1]
                                                                                  – Bertrand Russell

The political and economic changes of the long eighteenth century had produced unprecedented prosperity for those who rode the wave of capitalist development. By 1726 Daniel Defoe was able to write that, “our merchants are princes, greater and richer, and more powerful than some sovereign Princes”.[2] The developments of industry and finance would massively impact on the way in which the mass of the population lived, even if they did not share in the newfound wealth of the nation.

At the start of the eighteenth century “[p]lebian experiences … were overwhelmingly provincial experiences”.[3] Rural life was the common experience for the majority of the population, so that “at least three-quarters of the English people in 1700 still got a major portion of their living directly from some form of agricultural work.”[4] Similarly there were no sizable towns in Wales, and Scotland was described, in a petition sent to Westminster in 1720, as “a country the most barren of any Nation in these parts of Europe”.[5]

With industry in its infancy “the social units in which work was done, were mostly small in scale.”[6] Employment, if it was available, was “done on a family farm, in a workshop, in the streets of a town, or in a household.”[7] Often these occupations were combined in an attempt to maintain a subsistence level of income. Inevitably seasonal variations would occur, with harvest time producing the most opportunities for gainful employment. This insecurity was, on occasion, romanticised by the wealthier sorts, who would suggest, “labouring people were spared anxieties, the pressing responsibilities and the moral temptations which were imposed on men of property.”[8]

Reality, of course, was far different. Prior to 1750 the infant mortality rate “rarely fell below 150 per 1000 at risk”[9] After this point it was unlikely that children would reach adulthood, “in London, for instance, nearly 45 per cent of all recorded deaths were of children under 6.”[10] In times of scarcity people relied heavily on common land rights in order to graze cattle and grow vegetables. Such customary practice helped to define the lives of the poor and, coupled with the hardship of existence, brought about a spirit of “insubordination, self-assertiveness and indiscipline that was the constant preoccupation of their ‘betters’”.[11]


Our knowledge of how the poorest played throughout history is sparse as “games of certain classes have been emphasised and others de-emphasised”.[12] The period prior to the industrial revolution suffers from the same problem, as Malcolmson has suggested.[13] The evidence that does exist suggests, “that in the mid eighteenth century traditional recreations in England were thriving, deeply rooted and widely practised”.[14] A cursory examination of Joseph Strutt’s The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England will testify to the wealth of games with which people filled their recreational time. [15] Taverns and public houses played a central role in the lives of the poor in town and country alike:
“The yards, greens and grounds of the drinking place provided the spaces in which sports as diverse as skittles, quoits, bowls, boxing, wrestling, tennis, foot-racing, cricket and any number of activities featuring animals could be staged.”[16]
In addition, fairs and festivals were an ideal opportunity for games and recreation. Vamplew has suggested that people “accepted the rules as laid down, either by custom, the landlord or the promoter. They had no influence on the formulation of the rules.”[17]. However it seems likely that at least some of these games appeared at such events because they were already popular with people in the area. And as Thompson suggests, “uncodified custom – and even codified – was in continual flux. So far from having the steady permanence suggested by the word ‘tradition’, custom was a field of change and contest, an arena in which opposing interests made conflicting claims.”[18]


Versions of folk football took place across England. Its earliest appearance was, arguably, in 1174 when the Canterbury monk William Fitzpatrick told of how “After the midday meal the entire youth of the city goes to the fields for the famous game of ball.”[19] The word ‘football’ in its entirety does not come until 1314 when the Mayor of London issues a proclamation for the Preservation of the Peace. In it he states :
“…whereas there is great uproar in the City, through certain tumults arising from great footballs in the fields of the public, from which many evils may arise…we do command and do forbid, on the King’s behalf, upon pain of imprisonment, that such game be practised henceforth within the City.”[20]
In the same year Edward II issued a Decree berating the game for its “beastlie furie and extreme violence” [21] Such condemnation was common amongst the powerful and persisted through the centuries. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries football was repeatedly banned in Scotland,[22] and in London Elizabeth I ordered, “No foteball player be used or suffered within the City of London and the liberties thereof parts upon pain of punishment.”[23] Such prohibition was, no doubt, instituted for fear of the mobile vulgus, who would in the course of the game exhibited worrying levels of violence. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, James I, in a Royal Decree of 1603, stated, “I debarre all rough and violent exercises, as the foot-ball, meeter for mameing than making able users thereof”.[24]

It would seem likely that these games of folk football, although often markedly different from each other, were the forerunners of a number of today’s team ball games such as association football and both codes of rugby. What is interesting is not so much the similarities they share with contemporary sports, but the differences.

Folk football matches would often be a standing affair but they have come to be most commonly associated with being played at times of festival and holiday. The Times reported in 1840 how “it has been custom in most of the parishes and places in the western portions of the counties of Middlesex and Surrey, for the inhabitants on Shrove Tuesday in every year to devote the greater part of the day to the manly sport of foot-ball”.[25] Sometimes the match would take place between two nearby villages, or between adjoining parishes as in the case of the famous Derby contest between St Peters and All Saints. Often the married men of a village would play against the bachelors as still occurs in the games at Duns.[26]

The forms of the games also varied markedly and “were all distinctly shaped by the particular traditions of their own localities.”[27] The balls used would vary in size in each town or village, and this would inevitably affect the way in which people played. For instance, in some of the games on Scotland and Cornwall the ball is almost exclusively handled. Similarly the means by which a goal is scored or victory achieved are different – “no one case can be regarded as completely typical”.[28] As Hornby remarks, “This is a genus not a species.”[29]

Unsurprisingly the rules of the games also varied, although the mass of bodies often looked to the untrained eye as a sea of lawlessness. An editorial in the Whitehaven News on April 19 1926 said of the game in Workington that there were “no rules, but amazing good humour and fairness, and little of the violence of association football.”[30] It would, of course, be a mistake to say that there were no rules in the various football games. Richard Carew provides a vivid description of the Cornish game of hurling in Survey of Cornwall (1602) detailing the teams, pitch and goals, as well as the rules that govern the match itself:
“The Hurlers are bound to the observation of many lawes, as, that they must hurle man to man, and not two set upon one man at once; that the Hurler against the ball, must not but, nor hand-fast under girdle; that he who hath the ball, must but onely in the others brest; that he must deale no Foreball, viz. he may not throw it to any of his mates, standing neere the goale, than himselfe.”[31]
This account would suggest a game with a relatively sophisticated set of rules, but codification is absent. The rules though often customary were the products of the players. There were no lawmakers outside of the game itself and no governing bodies overseeing the games’ development. “Social outlooks were,” comments Malcolmson, “considerably more parochial, this sort of standardisation did not exist.”[32] Today fifteen folk football matches are still played in the British Isles of which only two have anything that resembles an organisational or administrative body:
“At Ashbourne and Kirkwall there are game committees, to organise pre-match events and to help raise funds for the balls for charities. But these committees do not run the games per se. The players do that themselves.”[33]
Similarly the matches themselves were devoid of officials, the players themselves dealing with any transgressions of accepted practice, with “minimal gestures in the direction of rules, a caution perhaps for hurting a man who had been knocked down”.[34] In an attempt to offset the violence that might accompany a match, some places “such as Kendal and Dorking, even had their set tariff of fines caused by the players.”[35]

Also in contradistinction to the modern games of football and rugby, folk football would invite mass participation. As Guttmann argues, “there was room for everyone and a sharply defined role for no one. The game was played by the entire village”.[36] Certain areas made provision for separate children’s games and it would seem that matches were not purely the preserve of the village men. The poet Sir Philip Sydney could write in the sixteenth century, “A tyme there is for all, / My mother often sayes, / When she, with skirt tuck’t very high, / With girls at football playes”[37]

The last of the ways in which folk football appears as different from contemporary sports is the area in which the games were played. Today sports have their physical limits set by the use of artificial boundaries whereas previously folk football was constrained by the limitations imposed by geography. For example, the “Corfe Castle game was played over land to which the Marblers laid claim, through custom and practice.”[38]


The attitude of the ruling class to the poor at play has often been one of distrust and hostility. As we have seen numerous edicts were issued in an attempt to prohibit football matches being played, often instigated on the grounds that the game was excessively violent. Philip Stubbes’ oft-quoted summation typifies this view: “Football causeth fighting, brawling, contention, quarrel-picking, murder, homicide, and a great effusion of blood as daily experience teaches”[39] More than this the recurring theme in bans imposed upon the games of the poor is the belief that they interfered with preparation for war, for example Edward III had outlawed football as it interfered with archery practice.[40] Henry VIII had forbidden “‘idle games’” for exactly the same reason.[41]

The moral well-being of the poor also taxed the rich. Not even the genteel game of bowls was beyond reproach, and in “1541 keeping alleys or greens for profit was forbidden.”[42] Writing in 1626, John Earle commented, “A bowling green is a place where three things are thrown away besides the bowls – time, money and curses”.[43] This trend reached its apotheosis with the Puritans whose impact was to “erode alternative recreational facilities; church and churchyard ceased to be the focus for festivities while clergy and magistrates condemned disorderly sports.”[44] These sporadic attempts to prohibit playful recreation should come as no surprise. Their documentation here is not to show that they occurred, but that they failed.


The development of capitalism remoulded society in its own image, and in so doing revolutionised the way in which people lived. Marx described the human cost of this change:
“Thus, were the agricultural people, firstly forcibly expropriated from the soil, driven from their homes, turned into vagabonds, and whipped, branded, tortured by laws grotesquely terrible, into the discipline of the wage system”[45]
Capitalism’s dynamic was driving changes that would leave no corner untouched and, unlike the previous attempts to curtail the leisure activities of the poor, its expansion would systematically erode and undermine the old customs irrevocably. As early as “around 1800 the undermining of popular recreations was already well underway, and the process was to continue for at least another half century.”[46]

Legal challenges to the newly urbanised working class at play persisted into the nineteenth century. Middle class reformers successfully petitioned to end animal sports although “even these may have survived to a rather greater extent than we realize.”[47] Nor did folk football escape the censure of the authorities:
“The concerted attack in the late 1840s on the Shrove Tuesday football match in Derby, and the rambunctious collections of beer money that went along with it, provide a classic instance of the business community making common cause with evangelical critics of the game.”[48]
The case of the match at Derby was certainly high profile because of its popularity, but similar attacks on football took place across the country.[49] Yet it remains the case that traditional sports did not decline as a result of legal challenges but structural changes taking place in wider society. In the case of folk football it has been argued that “[t]he greater threats to the game were coming not from the law, but from changes in land use and urbanisation.”[50]


The enclosure movement represented the most fundamental attack on the lives of the poor “whose economy of self-reliance was heavily dependent on the existence of common rights”.[51] The ability to use fields and land to graze cattle or cultivate crops “afforded an important dimension of self-sufficiency in the household economy; they offered a basis for self-employment.”[52] Without common rights people faced the stark choice of starvation or searching for either agricultural work or employment in the growing industrial urban economy.

The dynamic of capital led to the privatisation of ground that was formerly considered public space. The extent of the enclosures is witnessed by the fact that between “1700 and 1845, half the arable land in England was enclosed by parliamentary Acts”.[53] Speaking in 1804 a cottager in Maulden encapsulated the feelings of the poorest saying, ‘inclosing would ruin England; it was worse than ten wars… I kept four cows before the parish was inclosed, and now I do not keep so much as a goose.’”[54]

The quest for private ownership of land eroded the space available for games and pastimes. This is emphasised by the way in which, “[n]ationwide, of thirty-four Enclosure Bills passed between 1837 and 1841 covering 41,420 acres, only 22 acres had been set aside for recreation…The General Enclosure Act of 1845 made things worse.”[55] Already by 1824 Robert Slaney could say, ”owing to the inclosure of open lands and commons, the poor have no place in which they may amuse themselves in summer evenings, when the labour of the day is over, or when a holiday occurs.”[56] Similarly in “1833 a landowner lamented that workers were ‘expelled from field to field, and deprived of all play places.”[57]

Edward Thompson has cautioned against attempting to “explain the decline of old sports and festivals simply in terms of the displacement of ‘rural’ by ‘urban’ values”.[58] Of course enclosure alone does not explain the death of the old ways of playing, not least because contemporary observers such as Strutt had claimed in 1800 that folk football “was formerly in vogue amongst the common people of England, though of late years it seems to have fallen into disrepute and is but little practised”.[59] However city life made many of the old games improbable. None of the newly industrialised centres such as Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham, witnessed examples of folk football as ”incoming workers left their rural traditions behind”.[60]


Those driven from the land into the welcoming arms of the early industrialists were to undergo a profound change in the way the experienced time itself. The rhythms of life dictated by changing seasons were replaced by the demands of work-time discipline, “the contrast between ‘nature’s’ time and clock time”.[61] Work time became both a necessity and a weapon for the industrialists and businessmen and necessarily this “transition to mature industrial society entailed a severe restructuring of working habits - new disciplines, new incentives, and a new human nature upon which these incentives could bite effectively.”[62] As Griffiths notes: “If ever an age forged the chains linking time and power, if ever an age watched time and enslaved it, it was the Industrial Revolution”.[63]

The leisure of the working classes in contrast was an impediment to efficiency and productivity. The drive for accumulation ensured that “[p]opular culture was seen as an impediment to such a development. Frequent holidays held up work, heavy drinking interfered with the worker’s effectiveness, while sports and gambling distracted him”.[64] William Temple, an employer in the 1730s, was in no doubt as to the remedy for such licentiousness: “The only way to make them temperate and industrious is to lay them under a necessity of labouring all the time they can spare from means and sleep”[65]

The difficulty in forcing the inexperienced workforce to accept work-time discipline stemmed in no small part from their adherence to a number of holidays, part of a popular culture which was “clung to by the labouring poor as their right by custom, a heritage, even though much of the superstructure of rite and ritual was anachronistic”.[66] Workers would claim these days as of right, much to the chagrin of their employers:
“A writer on the Cornish miners in the early eighteenth century complained that because of their ‘numerous holidays, holiday eves, feasts, account days (once a month), Yeuwhiddens or one way or another they invent to loiter away their time, they do not work one half of their month for the owners and employers’.”[67]
It was through “the division of labour; preachings and schoolings; the suppression of fairs and sports – [that] new labour habits were formed, and a new time-discipline was imposed.”[68] Punitive measures were taken against the slothfulness of the workforce, such as when “the first recorded clocking-in system was introduced by Wedgewood at Etruria, backed by a stiff fine of 2s (10p)”.[69] Gradually the old feast days and festivals were eliminated. In 1761 there were 47 ‘bank’ holidays, by 1834 this figure had been reduced to four.[70] Robert Southey said, ”it is precisely the shortage of holidays at home which brutalizes and destroys the working classes”.[71]

The play of a potential proletariat was anathema to capitalist society. The distraction of the wage labourer, the diverting of their energies to recreational activities, and the resulting impact on profitability were an impediment to economic growth. Customary ways of playing inevitably declined “as the economy changed with industrialisation and as the country became more urbanised, popular culture gradually ceased to move to the rhythms of agriculture and responded instead to the mechanical beat of the factory.”[72]


Such changes did not go unchallenged. As Thompson argues, there was an inevitability about the clash between the old and new ways:
“capitalist logic and ‘non-economic’ customary behaviour are in active and conscious conflict … Hence we can read eighteenth-century social history as a succession of confrontations between an innovative market economy and the customary moral economy of the plebs.”[73]
On occasion resistance would take the form of “eloquent violence” with workers smashing the clocks attached to factory gates.[74] Nor was the resistance limited to the eighteenth century alone. The practice of Saint Monday lasted into the 1870s, only finally curtailed by the advent of half-day working on Saturdays.[75] Whilst the battle against enclosure had been lost there were still sporadic outbursts against the potential loss or gentrification of common land. In 1874 rioting broke out in Portsmouth after attempts were made to section off part of Southsea Common.[76] The adherents of folk football also fought to keep their tradition alive. As late as 1881, after authorities had attempted to suppress the game in Nuneaton “pitched battles broke out between footballers and the police”.[77]

Ultimately structural changes in society meant the social basis from which custom-ruled games originated was undermined. When compared with the professional sports of today, folk football perfectly illustrates the questions of alienation and control discussed in the previous chapter. Its demise is symptomatic of the wider decline in traditional games and recreations that occurred through the long eighteenth century. Rural life, with its particular history, its festival rhythms and abundance of space was eroded by a “[c]onstant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation”.[78] Economic development meant that “[f]resh ideas undermined traditional values, expectations and relationships. Sports and pastimes were inevitably affected. Old games were adapted and new ones created to satisfy appetites freshly whetted.”[79] Parochial life had helped create a plethora of games and sports across the country but regional variation gave way to national codified sports that people would experience as consumers. As Bourdieu concluded, “sport, born of truly popular games, i.e. games produced by the people, returns to the people, like ‘folk music’, in the form of spectacles produced for the people.”[80]


[1] Russell, B., “In Praise of Idleness” in In Praise of Idleness & Other Essays (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1935), p17
[2] Quoted in Rude, G., Revolutionary Europe, p21
[3] Malcomsen, R.W. (1981) Life and Labour in England: 1700 – 1780, Hutchinson: London, p20
[4] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p22
[5] Cited in Pawson, E. (1979) The Early Industrial Revolution: Britain in the Eighteenth Century, Batsford Academic: London p19
[6] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p23
[7] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p23
[8] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p16
[9] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p60
[10] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p60
[11] Barker, “In Praise of Custom”, p128
[12] Howell, M.L. & Howell, R., “Physical Activities and Sport in Early Societies” in Ziegler, E.F. (ed.) History of Physical Education and Sport (Illinois: Stipes Publishing Company, 1988), p43
[13] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p18
[14] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p98
[15] Strutt, J., The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, available at, accessed 7 August 2011
[16] Collins, T., & Vamplew, W., Mud, Sweat and Beers (Oxford: Berg, 2002), p5
[17] Vamplew, “Playing with the Rules”, p21
[18] Thompson, E.P., Customs in Common (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1991), p6
[19] Quoted in Hornby, H., Uppies and Downies: The Extraordinary Football Games of Britain (Swindon: English Heritage, 2008), p20
[20] Quoted in Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p20
[21] Quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p32
[22] Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p21
[23] Royal Decree of 1572, quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p32
[24] Quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p32
[25] Quoted in Malcolmson, R., Popular Recreations in English Society: 1700-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), p36
[26] Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p102
[27] Malcolmson, Popular Recreations, p34
[28] Malcolmson, Popular Recreations, p36
[29] Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p12
[30] Quoted in Hornby, Uppies and Downies, pp164-165
[31] Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall (1602) quoted in Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p139
[32] Malcolmson, Popular Recreations, p34
[33] Hornby, Uppies and Downies, p15
[34] Brailsford, A Taste for Diversions, p40
[35] Brailsford, A Taste for Diversions, p40
[36] Quoted in Guttmann, From Ritual to Record, p37
[37] Quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p381
[38] Birley, D., Sport and the Making of the British (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993), p61
[39] Phillip Stubbes, Anatomie of Abuses in the Realme of England (1583) quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p368
[40] Hutchinson, Empire Games, p49            
[41] Birley, A Social History of English Cricket, p4
[42] Birley, A Social History of English Cricket, p4
[43] Quoted in Pickering, Cassell’s Sports Quotations, p63
[44] Golby, J.M. & Purdue, A.W., The Civilisation of the Crowd: Popular Culture in England 1750-1900, (London: Batsford Academic, 1984) p35
[45] Marx, Capital, p29
[46] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p47
[47] Holt, Sport and the British, p64
[48] Holt, Sport and the British, p37
[49] Malcolmson, Popular Recreations, pp138-157
[50] Brailsford, A Taste for Diversions, p41
[51] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p24
[52] Malcomsen, Life and Labour, p34
[53] See for example, Huggins, M., Flat Racing and British Society 1790-1914 (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp.178-179
[54] Quoted in Thompson, Customs in Common, p177
[55] Rule, J., The Labouring Classes in Early Industrial England: 1750-1850 (London: Longman, 1986), p217
[56] Rule, The Labouring Classes, p216
[57] Baker, W.J., Sports in the Western World (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988), p103
[58] Thompson, E.P., The Making of the English Working Class (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963), p445
[59] Quoted in Holt, Sport and the British, p39
[60] Hornby, Uppies and Downies, pp28-30
[61] Thompson, E.P. “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism”, Past and Present, 38, p 56
[62] Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism”, p57
[63] Griffiths, J., Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, (London: Flamingo, 1999), p152
[64] Golby & Purdue, The Civilisation of the Crowd, p53
[65] Golby & Purdue, The Civilisation of the Crowd, p54
[66] Golby & Purdue, The Civilisation of the Crowd, p28
[67] Rule, The Vital Century, p192
[68] Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism”, p90
[69] Rule, The Vital Century, p198
[70] Vamplew, W., Pay Up and Play the Game: Professional Sport in Britain, 1875-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p39
[71] Medick, M. “Plebian Culture in the Transition to Capitalism” in Samuel, R. & Steadman Jones, G. (eds) Culture, Ideology and Politics (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982), p107
[72] Golby & Purdue, The Civilisation of the Crowd, p39
[73] E.P. Thompson, quoted in Malcomson, Life and Labour, pp134-135
[74] Griffiths, Pip Pip, p157
[75] Reid, D.A., “The Decline of Saint Monday 1766–1876”, Past and Present, 71, 1 1976), 76-101
[76] Field, J., “‘When the Riot Act was Read’: A Pub Mural of the Battle of Southsea, 1874”, History Workshop Journal, 10, 1 (1980), pp.152-163
[77] Dunning, E., & Sheard, K., Barbarians, Gentlemen and Players: A Sociological Study of the Development of Rugby Football (London: Routledge, 2005), p37
[78] Marx, K. & Engels, F., The Communist Manifesto (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p83
[79] Baker, Sports in the Western World, p57
[80] Bourdieu, “Sport and Social Class”, p828