[Press & Publications] SINGER & FRIEDLANDER REVIEW


Singer & Friedlander Seasonal Review 1998-99

Contact Information:

Centre for Research into Sport and Society, University of Leicester,14 Salisbury Road, Leicester, LE1 7RQ, telephone (0116) 252 5930, Fax: (0116) 252 5720, email: crss@le.ac.uk

This is the second edition of the Singer and Friedlander Review. The aim of this publication is to make a contribution to our understanding of football and the policy process. This edition contains articles on the following subjects:

  • Management of injuries.
  • The refereeing crisis.
  • Football and the growing involvement of the courts.
  • The relationship between resources and performance in the Premier Leagues in England and Scotland.
  • Blacks and Asians in football.
  • World Cup for people with learning disabilities.
  • Howard Wilkinson's views on the development of youth football.
  • Patricia Day OBE (nee Smith), Ex-Deputy Chief Executive of The FA on the future development of football.
  • Synopses of selected articles:

    Two companion articles by Patrick Murphy

    Banking on Success: examining the links between performance and the increasing concentration of wealth in English elite soccer.

    English First Division & Premier League 1946-99:

  • Measured in terms of points and goal difference, there is no discernible widening in the performance gap and no weakening in the competitiveness of the League in the post-war period.
  • This focus on the competitive structure of the League does not exclude the possibility/probability that the position of elite clubs is becoming more secure while that of others is becoming less so.
  • The yo-yo phenomenon. In the 1990s there has been a dramatic increase in the number of clubs that have experienced sequences of promotion and relegation. This process has two dimensions - the playing dimension and the administrative one. The latter takes the form of so-called 'parachute payments', but these might be more aptly termed 'trampoline payments'.
  • Paradox. The yo-yo phenomenon is generally seen as a sign of the widening gulf between the Premier League and the First Division. In fact, its operation actually ensures that this gulf does not widen still further. The most significant gulf is between the Premier League (together with the yo-yo clubs) and the rump of the First Division.
  • For Richer, for Poorer North of the Border: examining the links between resources and performance in Scottish elite soccer

    Scottish First Division & Premier League 1946-99

  • As measured in terms of points and goal difference, Scotland's top division has become more competitive in the 1990s.
  • There does seem to be a positive relationship between the centralisation of resources at Rangers and Celtic and the chances of one of these clubs winning the league championship. However, this tendency is occurring in the context of an increasingly competitive league.
  • In contrast to the English Premier League, in the 1990s there has been a drastic decline in the yo-yo phenomenon. But this can largely be attributed to administrative interventions which have reduced the number of clubs being relegated and promoted.
  • If they are to further their European ambitions should Rangers and Celtic seek to move to a more competitive league? The evidence presented here would suggest that the argument for such a move cannot rest on the claim that their present situation is becoming less competitive. If a case is to be made, it has to rest on pull rather than push factors.
  • Two companion articles by Ivan Waddington and Martin Roderick

    Playing hurt: professional footballers and their injuries

  • Playing with pain or when injured is a central part of the culture of professional football.
  • Players demonstrate to their manager that they have 'the right attitude' by being prepared to play when injured.
  • Players who are unavailable for selection because of injury may be stigmatised as 'malingerers' or held not to have 'the right attitude'.
  • Some managers regard injured players as 'non-producers' and ignore them.
  • 15% of ex-footballers are registered disabled.
  • On Medical Grounds: the club doctor in professional football

  • 72% of club doctors are general practitioners who work for the club part-time.
  • Most have no experience of sports medicine outside their work with the club.
  • Most do not have a specialist qualification in sports medicine and do not see their main career as being in sports medicine.
  • Jobs are not normally advertised, there is no job description and often no interviews.
  • Most club doctors inherit the post from a relative or senior partner in their practice; as one doctor put it, 'it's dead men's shoes'.

    'Hard Cases' in Court - Martin Roderick

  • Bradford City striker, Gordon Watson, was seriously injured following a late tackle by Huddersfield Town's Kevin Gray. In October 1998, Watson successfully sued Gray for negligence and received damages for loss of earnings.
  • Most footballers are reluctant to take legal action primarily because of the costs and the uncertainty of outcome. Cases of violence in professional football are dealt with by The FA's tribunal system. While the effectiveness of this system is questionable, the courts seem cautious about intervention.
  • This article examines the Watson case and other high profile cases with a view to exploring the relationship between violence in professional football and the law.
  • A Game of Two Halves - Dominic Malcolm and Oliver Last

  • Examines the involvement of blacks and Asians in football.
  • Looks at the over representation of black players in football, how they are concentrated in certain playing roles, and their disproportionate representation at the highest levels.
  • the average transfer fee for black players is substantially higher than for their white counterparts.
  • Two companion articles on referees and refereeing

    Stalking Referees -Sharon Colwell

  • Considers the pros and cons of some of the regularly proposed 'one liner' solutions to the complex problem of refereeing.
  • Outlines research being undertaken into refereeing and monitoring the performance of referees.
  • Trading Places - Sharon Colwell and Patrick Murphy

  • Can even the best referees stand up to trial by television?
  • Do their arch-critics - managers and commentators - exhibit the qualities befitting a competent referee?
  • It is said to be a 'man's game'. Are some of the more prominent critics of referees 'man enough' to trade places with referees and officiate a televised game?
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