Research Paper (undergraduate), 2009
9 Pages, Grade: 1,3
1 Thesis Statement
2 The history of Hooliganism in England
2.1 Origins and development
2.2 The end of the heyday
2.3 The fight against Hooligans
3 Boosting and supporting features for Hooliganism in England
3.1 Personal problems
3.2 Extreme rivalry between football clubs
3.3 Special mentality of British people
4 Concluding Statement
List of literature / Sources
Table of figures
Figure 1: The Heysel Disaster from: http://www.fotballen.eu/artikler/Heysel/Heysel.html
Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, once said that Hooliganism is one of the most famous export goods, Britain can not be proud of. This statement by itself emphasizes the significance of the hooligan problem not only in the British society, but all over Europe. Hooliganism is often called the ‘English disease’, so the question arises if Hooliganism is a typical feature of the British culture.
Therefore, the following essay should explain whether Hooliganism can be named a typical symbol for the society or not.
First of all, you have to declare the history of Hooliganism with its origins and development to examine the problem more exactly. So you get a closer look into the background what might make you understand why Hooliganism becomes such a factor in the British football business.
It all started in the 1970s when British people began to accompany their national team to away games. Combined with the abuse of alcohol they started riots and brawls which left marks all over the world. This displays the beginning of the fact why British fans, now called Hooligans, became notorious for their propensity to violence.
The 1980s mark the heyday of Hooliganism in Britain when almost every professional football club, 92 in number which is quite a lot, has it’s own hooligan organisation. These groups call themselves ‘Hooligan firms’. Below, the most notorious firms are listed:
illustration not visible in this excerpt
You see that almost every name has a relation to violence or the military which, regarding to their attitude, speaks for itself.
It may sound cruel or paradox, but two terrible disasters during football games with English teams involved, can probably be named the best thing which could have happened to the English football at this time. With their earthshaking aftermath, they marked the end of the heyday.
The first one was the Heysel Disaster in 1985. Prior to the final for the European Champions Club’s Cup in Brussels between Liverpool and Juventus Turin, Liverpool hooligans attacked the supporters of Turin. 39 people were killed and over 450 were injured when a wall collapsed during a mass panic. As a result, all English clubs were banned from European competitions for 5 years, Liverpool even for 7 years.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1: The Heysel Disaster
The second catastrophe was the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster which took place in the Hillsborough Stadium of Sheffield during the FA-Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when too many supporters of Liverpool were allowed to stand on the grandstand. So many of them were stamped down. This led to 96 dead and over 700 injured people.
After and just because of these two horrible disasters during football games, the government of Great Britain started a fight against hooligans at the beginning of the 1990s. Therefore, they created some laws and measures which should reshuffle the fan culture of British football clubs. The most important laws and measures are:
- the stadiums of all professional clubs must exclusively have seating accommodations
- stronger safety measures (i.e. CCTV which implies the assignment of observation cameras)
- stadium bans for known hooligans
- rise of ticket price / personalised tickets
- support of fan projects
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