The ‘club versus country’ debate: investigating English fan loyalty toward club and national teams

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The ‘club versus country’ debate, which refers to an individual’s allegiance to their respective club and national teams, has become an increasingly popular topic for debate in the context of English football. Whilst prior work in this area has focused on the tensions between club officials and national associations, this study investigated the attitudinal and behavioural loyalty of fans towards club and national teams. Data were collected from 647 football fans across 16 English club teams utilizing a survey approach. Findings suggest that those with high levels of loyalty to their club are more likely to be loyal to the national team, questioning whether this is a ‘versus’ debate at all from the fan perspective. In addition, Premier League fans display lower levels of attitudinal loyalty to the national team than lower league fans, which may reflect underlying concerns that club players may sustain injuries in national team matches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-865
JournalSoccer & Society
Volume18
Issue number7
Early online date29 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2017

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