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The idea of Europe in football

De Witte, Floris ORCID: 0000-0001-8068-7110 and Zglinski, Jan ORCID: 0000-0002-5653-9254 (2022) The idea of Europe in football. European Law Open, 1 (2). 286 - 315. ISSN 2752-6135

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Identification Number: 10.1017/elo.2022.15


The article explores the Europeanisation of football, focusing on two dimensions of this process: its affective and regulatory dimension. Developments such as the creation of pan-European club competitions and growing cross-border movement of players mean that ‘Europe’ plays an ever more important role in football on an affective level. The same is true on a regulatory level, where EU law and policy have come to impact on various aspects of football, ranging from transfer rules, to club financing, to the sale of broadcasting rights. We argue that only by examining the interaction between these two dimensions can we truly understand what is ‘European’ about football. The article shows that there continues to be strong support in football for the cultural elements of the European Sport Model, including a commitment to local identity, sporting merit and solidarity. By contrast, its governance aspects are increasingly coming under pressure, as the recent European Super League saga illustrates. Our findings suggest that the EU can – and should – do more to improve regulatory standards in football and push for a greater representation of fans and other stakeholders that have currently no, or limited, voice in the football pyramid.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2022 10:15
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 23:22

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