World-leading Emeritus Professor in Culture, Media and Sport visits the SSES

Emeritus Professor David Rowe provides less on Ebbsfleet Utd, governance & football fandom

Ther School of Sport and Exercise Sciences recently welcomed Emeritus Professor David Rowe (University of Western Sydney & SOAS) as part of its Research Seminar Series

Professor Rowe is a world-renown scholar with expertise in the field of sport media, communication studies and cultural politics, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and recent recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal for his contribution to Australian Sociology. In addition to his sustained work on community sport, media forms and sport mega-events at the local and international levels, Professor Rowe has published several key texts in the field. These include: Sport, culture and the media: The unruly trinity (2004); Global media sport: flows, forms and futures (2011); Digital media sport: technology, power and culture in the network society (2013) edited with Brett Hutchins; Sport, public broadcasting and cultural citizenship: signal lost? (2014) edited with Jay Scherer; and, most recently, Making Culture: Commercialisation, transnationalism and the state of ‘nationing’ in contemporary Australia (2018) with Graeme Turner and Emma Waterton. Professor Rowe has co-authored several publications on progressive forms of fan-sponsored sport ownership; including that of Ebbsfleet United.

Professor Rowe’s guest lecture provided insights and lessons from the infamous case of local football team Ebbsfleet United and its implications for progressive sport media and governance relations. Bought by crowd-funded and fan-led enterprise, Myfootballclub, in 2007, the case of Ebbsfleet drew international attention for is innovative approach to democratising football governance and globalising fan ownership. The initiative saw, at its peak, over 50,000 international supporters pay nominal membership fees to have the specific opportunity to participate in executive decision-making (including club selection, coach and athlete purchasing, playing decisions, and equipment and outfitting).

“The case of Ebbsfleet”, Dr Geoffery Kohe, Lecturer in Sport Management and Policy, explained explained, “has provided poignant lessons for how we might think about reconfiguring sport fandom in an era of hyper-commercialisation and questionable models of corporate governance”.

“At a time in which there has been increased public, political and media scrutiny of sport, Professor Rowe’s examination”, Dr Kohe added, “drew useful interdisciplinary connections to the related issues of spatial politics, identity and community, sports workers’ welfare and ethics”.

Professor Rowe’s visit was the latest in the SSES Research Seminar Series and builds upon work being undertaken by Sport Management researchers in the areas of sport organisational politics, athlete welfare, fandom and participation, media and communication, and volunteering.

For more information email: Dr Geoffery Z. Kohe