Passing Rhythms: Liverpool FC and the Transformation of Football

Overview

Liverpool Football Club, in stark contrast to its competitors, remains locally owned, not a conglomerate or media business. Unlike its main rivals, the Liverpool club has been loathe to pursue global markets for merchandizing - though it attracts a huge fandom around the world - and its ambitions remain resolutely fixed on footballing success. No football club has ever had such an extended period of dominance in the English game, nor extended that dominance to Europe so ...

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Overview

Liverpool Football Club, in stark contrast to its competitors, remains locally owned, not a conglomerate or media business. Unlike its main rivals, the Liverpool club has been loathe to pursue global markets for merchandizing - though it attracts a huge fandom around the world - and its ambitions remain resolutely fixed on footballing success. No football club has ever had such an extended period of dominance in the English game, nor extended that dominance to Europe so effectively.

Many of the current crop of top young players are locally born and are a central feature of the city's nightlife, as well as national icons in pop/football/youth culture. But there are fears that the Club's great days have now passed. At the height of its powers in the 1980s, Liverpool FC was the site of two catastrophic crowd disasters, which effectively transformed the sport and added to wounding perceptions about the city's alleged sentimentality, fatalism and irreversible decline. The legacy of the Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies continues to shape the self-image of the Club and those who support it. A seething rivalry with nearby corporate giant Manchester United is a constant reminder of football's new order.

Addressing all of these concerns, as well as Liverpool's global reputation as the home of the Beatles and the 'Mersey sound', this book takes an original approach to the study of football by examining its links with other important popular culture forms, especially pop music, but also television and youth styles. In particular, however, it looks at the very special meaning of football in Liverpool.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"John Williams and his team have been at the forefront of the recent growth of academic research into football ... There are some excellent essays - Dave Hill on race, Raymond Boyle on religion and Andrew Ward on Bill Shankly - and there are some interesting points on the erosion of communal identity and Liverpool FC's importance to its city." —The Independent

"Superbly researched and presented and is clearly in tune with how Liverpool supporters think and the club operates ... Essential reading." —Liverpool Echo

"f you want to understand what made Liverpool the most successful club in England, why they faded and how the likes of Houllier and Parry want to bring them back, Passing Rhythms is the answer." —When Saturday Comes

"[A] careful and studious collection of contributed essays." —Programme Monthly

"Put together by a trio of soccer scholars, [the book] features a probing interview with the Liverpool manager - of the kind that used to be reserved for writers and art-house film directors ... And the message of Passing Rhythms is that a famous club such as Liverpool now counts as a talismanic social asset, a means of enabling communities to flourish in today's brand-name dominated, globalised economy." —New Statesman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859733035
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Mr. John Williams is the Director of the Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research, at the University of Leicester.

Cathy Long is a Research and Information Executive, for the FA Premier League.

Stephen Hopkins is an Associate Member at the Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football Research and Lecturer in Politics,at the University of Leicester.

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