David Goldblatt: The Fan Action Network’s Manifesto
Football has grown disconnected from fans it was originally meant to represent. Corruption is rampant, World Cups do more harm than good, and ticket prices are becoming increasingly unaffordable. In an effort to curb this trend, football sociologist David Goldblatt has joined up with the Football Action Network to lobby against the negative trends of modern football, and return the game to its fans. We met up with doctor Goldblatt to talk more about the group’s new Manifesto:
Why do you think its important for a fan rights group to exist without receiving funding from Uefa or national football bodies?
“The last 4-5 years globally, new social movements have emerged that have new ways of organizing. The arab spring, Ukraine, Hong Kong, the Occupy Movement, all point to the nature of politics is changing. The organisations that currently extist, which I support 100%, are existing from another era. So supporters direct can only campaign and remit but can only work on a certain section of fans who are organized and wealthy enough to create a supporters trust… You can’t step out as kick it out, and get involved in the reformation of democratization of the FA. The FSF campaigns for safe standing, ticket prices, and fair wages, but they are limited. FSE is a membership based, lobbying and representative organization, and that is important, but it is different from being a kind of activist protest movement, and being able to think more widely… I wanted to make something that will compliment that.”
What is the function of the Fans Action Network?
“Its not a top down operation, but its about providing a catalyst by a small number of actions to be more than the sum of our parts. There is a real constituency of people who think it’s a good thing. So people have to pick up the baton and that’s the nature of this kind of politics… its and experiment.”