Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Allison Abra

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Brian LaPierre

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Kevin Greene

Committee Member 3 School



This project examines how English football evolved from a culture of hooliganism and poor upkeep into a popular and enterprising industry across the globe. The Premier League and its stars marketed the English game and its culture worldwide. Since the 1990s England has established itself as the leading club footballing nation. I argue that through football, and the culture and economics behind it, we can see the ways in which England attempted to change its image in the modern world. In the 1980s and 1990s Britain was confronted with its own established culture of violence, bigotry, and nationalist pride, particularly the sport of football. English football clubs and the English Football Association (FA) adapted in an effort to change their image and create a more accessible and marketable product. This study examines those changes and the ways in which they impacted the league, clubs, and fan culture in footballing communities. With a limited and economics-focused historiography on the subject, this work will contribute to the discussion by exploring a cultural perspective and examining the changes and economic impact from club and fan levels. It will also place this evolution within a broader European cultural context.