The impact of New Labour's modernisation agenda on the English grass-roots football workforce

Jim Lusted, Jimmy O'Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Since the late 1990s, the grass-roots sporting workforce in England has been subjected to increasing policy intervention, primarily due to Government desire to use the private and voluntary sector to deliver a range of political objectives. English grass-roots football is arguably the most important site for this policy delivery given its huge popularity – providing the largest numbers of volunteers for any leisure pursuit in the UK [Sport England (2003)]. Despite this popularity, little is known about the grass-roots football workforce, made up of a large pool of volunteers, some governance staff and football development professionals – less still about the impact that such incipient policy interventions have had on their roles. This article draws on the data collected during separate PhD research undertaken by the authors to illustrate the impact that such policy interventions have had on the grass-roots workforce. Two recent strategies – The English Football Association's Charter Standard Scheme and The Equity Strategy – provide the focus. The data collected from interviews across a broad spectrum of grass-roots football personnel suggest a general uneasiness around the imposition of modernisation at this level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-54
Number of pages15
JournalManaging Leisure
Issue number1-2
Early online date26 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2010


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