Local but global? An exploration of the representation of English football clubs in English sports journalism

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The increase in popularity and foreign influence of English football clubs has made them global brands. Improvements in media technology and coverage, means that fans around the world can now follow news about their preferred clubs with the same immediacy as those in England. This study’s aim is to explore the identity formation of English football clubs as global brands in English sports journalism. To observe this pattern, coverage on the European Super League from Sky Sports and Talk Sport was analysed. The researcher opted to use othering theory and stereotype theory to interpret the data collected. The former describes why groups and individuals are differentiated from the dominant group, while the former discusses repeated attributes and themes throughout the process of othering. Using qualitative research methods, in vivo and values coding, the researcher found that English sports journalists had a negative identity of the said clubs as global brands. These approaches are beneficial because they explain the attitudes, beliefs, and language used in the identity formation of English football clubs as global brands. The said clubs were stereotyped as greedy and othered for attacking perceived English ideals such as competitive integrity and meritocracy. English sports journalists also rejected increasing global exposure out of concerns of a higher risk of the exploitation of local English football fans. This study concurs with previous literature that found a distrust from English sports journalists towards foreign actors in English football.
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Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2023.