Thursday, 14 April 2016

Survey on Popularity of Football Managers

The results are in!

Soccer Mad Boffins proudly reveals the results of our highly scientific survey into the popularity of some (in)famous managers.

We asked a panel of academic experts to rate a shortlist of managers on a scale of 1-10 ('1' being the lowest, '10' being the highest mark possible).

Findings showed that the most highly rated managers com our list was former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, whilst the least popular was Paulo Di Canio.  Sum total results for each manager are summarised below (number of respondents = 9):

Interestingly, one respondent awarded 11/10 to one of the managers whilst there were a couple of instances where a mark of 'zero' was given or the column was left blank. In these instances we awarded the 11 and classified the zeros and blank responses as '0'. We acknowledge that these were off the scale but if you have a problem with that then you need to get a life.

'Honourable Mentions': One respondent asked why we didn't also include Bob Paisley or Arsene Wenger on the list.  We should have done. We'll put them on the list next time for sure, along with a couple of others such as Bruce Rioch and Sir Matt Busby.  Any other nominations please email us.

Any academic journals wishing to publish this please get in touch! ;-) 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Foundations of Managing Sporting Events - Organizing the 1966 FIFA World Cup

Soccer Mad Boffins are very pleased to announce that our new book 'Foundations of Managing Sporting Events - Organizing the 1966 FIFA World Cup' will be published this summer by Routledge as part of their International Studies in Business History series.

The table of contents will be:

1. What, Why, and How?
2. Origins and Background: A Brief History of English Football and the FIFA World Cup
3. Political Capital and International Diplomacy: North Korea and Beyond
4. The FA, FIFA, and the 1966 FIFA World Cup
5. The World Cup as a Temporary Show?
6. The World Cup, Minister?
7. The World Cup and the Provinces: A Tourism Boom that Never Came
8. Legacy and Impact of the Tournament
9. Discussion and Conclusions 

In addition to all that there will also be a forword by the Prof Jim Walvin. 

More info at:

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Some Recommended Reading.....

Following our previous post about the book chapter 'Beer and the Boro - A Perfect Match' that we have co-authored with Fred Hutchinson for the 'beer, pubs and brewing' book, we decided to survey a select few of our colleagues and friends about what other football-related literature they enjoy reading, academic and non-academic.

Our findings were very interesting and showed the enduring popularity of Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' and also the enduring popularity / infamy of one of the sport's most colourful characters: Brian Clough. 'The Damned United', a fictional account of Brian Clough's short-lived but controversial reign at Leeds United, was a big hit amongst respondents, and Phil Rostron's response 'We Are The Damned United' - a factual account of the same topic based on interviews with the players Clough managed at the time - also received a vote.

Here are the findings in full, hopefully they will inspire readers of Soccer Mad Boffins to get reading:

Favourite football book/article (non-academic)?

Prof Bill Cooke, University of York:
Seth Burkett (2014) The Boy in Brazil: Living, Loving and Learning in the Land of Football

Prof Richard Common, University of York:
'Fever Pitch'  Nick Hornby - predictable, I know...

Prof Stephen Linstead, University of York:
'The Damned United'

Dr Sarah Gilmore, University of Portsmouth
'Football Against the Enemy' by Simon Kuper.

Prof Dil Porter, De Montfort University:
 'The Damned United'.

Dr Niall MacKenzie, University of Strathclyde
 'The Damned United'.

Prof David Preece, Emeritus (Teesside Uninversity)
'We are the damned United', by Phil Roston, Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 2009. Tells the true story of Leeds United when 'managed' by Clough (ie a more-or-less complete disaster).

Dr Rory Miller, University of Liverpool 
Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch.

Dr Catherine Budd, De Montfort University
Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch.

Favourite academic football book/article?

We got a few less responses to our request for recommended academic writing about the world's greatest sport, but the ones we did get were very strong (and thanks Bill for mentioning our own forthcoming book about the 1966 FIFA World Cup!)

Prof Bill Cooke, University of York
Tenent, K.D. and Gillett, A.G. (2016 – in press) Foundations of Managing Sporting Events : Organizing the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Routledge International Studies in Business History, Routledge.

Prof Stephen Linstead, University of York
Sarah Gilmore - The mother’s breast and football managers in The Passion of Organization ed. J Brewis, S. Linstead, D. Boje, T. O'Shea

Prof Dil Porter, De Montfort University
Alan McDougall, The People's Game: Football, State and Society in East Germany  (CUP, 2014)

Dr Sarah Gilmore, University of Portsmouth
McGillivray, D., Fearn, R., &McIntosh, A. (2005). Caught up in and by the beautiful game. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 29, 102-123. Exposes the anti-intellectual culture in the Scottish/UK game and analyses it via Bourdieu. It continues to be foundational for me just at the moment in understanding clashes in capital and why sports science, for example, fails to be as institutionalised and recognised as it should be. Great stuff.

Overall, a very interesting selection we hope that you agree. Watch this space for more surveys of academics and soccer, and more news about our own forthcoming book about the 1966 FIFA World Cup.