defining match days and football grounds as times and places
in which fighting could be engaged in and aggressive forms
of masculinity displayed, the media, especially the national
tabloid press, played a part of some moment in stimulating
and shaping the development of soccer hooliganism (p. 122).
Murphy et al., (1990), believe that the amount of publicity
given to the superhooligan groups and their leaders increased
the membership ranks with “hardcases and other socio-pathic
nutters” (Murphy et al., 1990, p. 168), who were not
previously involved with soccer hooliganism.
media was not only engaged in reporting and predicting soccer
superhooliganism, but it also led the call for remedial action
against the soccer thugs. However, the media-advocated policy
measures introduced to combat soccer superhooliganism “tended
to displace the disorder on to the streets outside football
grounds, sometimes at considerable distances from them, rather
than to eradicate it” (Murphy et al., 1990, p. 122).
by the media in soccer hooliganism included publishing their
own ‘league tables of hooligan notoriety.’ The Daily
Mail September, 1986, ran a headline, “Chelsea tops thugs
league” Murphy (1990), or, the Evening Standard had a
center spread page on July 29, 1985, which read, “London
league of violence” Murphy et al., (1990). The impact
these articles have had on the reader depends on individual
motivations. Superhooligans view the publicity as validating
their activity. When an article is published, identifying
the Chelsea Headhunters as the top superhooligan group, other
superhooligans view this as a challenge to knock Chelsea off
of the top spot.
root causes of present-day soccer superhooliganism are deep
and complex. Newspapers, in particular the tabloid press,
“have made a contribution of some significance to the
rise of present-day hooliganism and to giving it its distinctively
contemporary form” (Murphy et al., 1990, p. 124). Articles
featuring stories on superhooligan group leaders, although
not necessarily condoning them, rarely condemned their activities
either. The press undoubtedly contributed to the “intensification
of the status competition between rival hooligan groups”
(Murphy et al., 1990, p. 124), and the tabloid press has been
responsible for feature stories portraying superhooligan leaders
as prosperous and from middle class backgrounds. Exaggeration
on the part of the press, according to Canter (1989), further
sensationalized the leaders concerned, which consequently
attracted to superhooliganism some ‘non-typical’ hooligan
types. That the popular press is responsible for aiding and
abetting the soccer superhooliganism phenomenon by its extensive
and sensationalized coverage is patently obvious. The press
could have played a key role in diffusing the soccer hooligan
movement during its early stages – but it chose instead to
use hooliganism to sell papers and, consequently, led in the
emergence and establishment of Britian’s soccer super-hooligans.
B. (1991). Among the thugs. London: Seker and Warburg.
D., Comber, M., and Uzzell, D. (1989). Football in its place:
an environmental psychology of football grounds. London: Routledge.
P. (1988). Policing the working class city, in Capitalism
and the rule of law. London: Hutchinson, pps. 118-36.
E. (1994). The Social Roots of football Hooliganism: A reply
to the Critics of “The Leicester School,” in N.
Bonney, R. Giulanotti, M. Hepworth (eds), Football, violence
and social identity. Routledge, London.
E., Murphy, P. and Williams, J. (1986). Spectator violence
at football matches: towards a sociological explanation. British
Journal of Sociology, 37, (2).
E., Murphy, P. and Williams, J. (1988). The roots of football
hooliganism. London: Routledge.
J. (1968). Soccer hooliganism. Bristol: John Wright.
F. (1985, August 16). Fans who get their kicks off the field.
P. (1987, January 8). Slashed fan identified mob boss, court
told. The Guardian.
J. H. (1994). Understanding soccer hooliganism. Milton Keynes:
Open University Press.
P., Williams, J., & Dunning, E. (1990). Football on trial:
spectator violence and development in the football world.
G. (1983). Hooligan: a history of respectable fears. Basingstoke:
O. (1986). Committee of enquiry into crowd safety and control
at sports grounds. Final report. London: HMSO, 6.
D. (1984). We hate humans. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
I., & Ingham, R. (Eds) (1978). Football hooliganism: the
wider context. London: Inter-Action.
I. (1988). British soccer after Brussels. Sociology of Sport
Journal No. 4, pps. 171-91.
R. (1993). Football and its fans: supporters and their relations
with the game, 1885-1985. Leicester: Leicester University
E. 1980. Offences and offenders in football crowd disorders.
British Journal of Criminology, 20, (3).
Limbergen, K., & Walgrave, L. (1988). ‘Euro’ 88:
Fans and hooligans. Youth criminology research group report
commissioned by the Belgian minister of interior.
S. (1984). The football world: a contemporary social history.
Brighton: Harvester Press.
J. (1986). Football and the decline of Britain. London: Macmillan
J. (1994). The people’s game: the history of football revisited.
London: Mainstream Publishing.
C. (1996). All quiet on the hooligan front. Edinburgh: Mainstream.
J., & Wagg, S. (Eds) (1991). British football and social
change: getting into Europe.
Leicester University Press.
J., Dunning, E., & Murphy, P. J. (1984). Hooligans abroad:
the behavior and control of English fans in continental Europe.
London: Routledge and Keegan Paul.