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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Thatcher's Legacy on the Legal Narrative Surrounding Fans of Football

Lowerson, Ashley and Hall, Matthew (2018) Thatcher's Legacy on the Legal Narrative Surrounding Fans of Football. In: Football Collective - Challenging the Narrative, 29-30 Nov 2018, Hampden Park, Scotland.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Margaret Thatcher is well known for her ‘tough on crime’ and ‘law and order’ rhetoric that saw her Conservative Party elected to Government in 1979. However, some criminological scholars have argued from a punitive perspective that Thatcher’s legislative programme lacked the ‘toughness’ that she championed. Assessing law through ‘punitiveness’ is, however, a narrow approach.
Two pieces of legislation passed during Mrs Thatcher’s tenure, the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 and the Public Order Act 1986 are rarely discussed within this literature. Moving away from punitiveness, the restrictive nature of this legislation amounts to ‘tough’ policing and still exists today. Drawing attention to a recent case study, it will be exemplified that football fans are still often stigmatised and policed on a 1980’s narrative that these individuals represent somewhat of a societal threat. Thus, this paper will demonstrate that Thatcher’s legislative legacy upon football fans still exists. From this angle, Thatcher’s legislative programme arguably satisfies the toughness that she advocated. Indeed, many would argue that football specific legislation is draconian. The symbolic nature of this law will always shape public perception. It is such legislation that needs to be addressed before any real transformation to the narrative surrounding fans of football can begin to change for the better.

Thatchers Narrative UPDATE.pdf - Accepted Version

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Depositing User: Ashley Lowerson


Item ID: 10216
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Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 09:18
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 10:56


Author: Ashley Lowerson
Author: Matthew Hall

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism
Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Law
Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > Sunderland Law School



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