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    A Critical Evaluation of the Regulation of Football Spectatorship: Defining & Refining the Optimal Method of Spectator Management

    Lowerson, Ashley Jane (2022) A Critical Evaluation of the Regulation of Football Spectatorship: Defining & Refining the Optimal Method of Spectator Management. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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    Abstract

    The behaviour of football spectators has received significant attention in the literature in areas of psychology, criminology and law, yet there is no singular piece of research that examines the legality of the package of measures governing football spectators in England and Wales. Scholarship has noted the issues regarding the statutory framework and the treatment of football spectators but research on the creation, monitoring and alternative preventative measures that can be used remains absent. Although the issues regarding football-related violence and disorder are not as prevalent as that witnessed over 30 years ago, the problem still exists. The thesis examines with a doctrinal methodology, that Football Banning Orders on conviction and complaint held in s 14A and s 14B of the Football Spectators Act 1989, respectively, are no longer fit for purpose in their current form. Analysis of the historical roots of Football Banning Orders provides that there was no sound evidential basis for their creation and in turn, has caused numerous inconsistencies in the interpretation and application of s 14. Observation of the Home Office statistics that monitor football-related arrests and the number of Football Banning Orders served each football season has illustrated that the statistics are unreliable and the methodology underpinning the capturing of the data is not sound. Finally, by evaluating the use of the alternative option to the statutory Football Banning Order, stadium/club bans, it has demonstrated that the current processes adopted do not provide a spectator with the right to a fair hearing and could leave clubs open to legal proceedings. The thesis recommends that the current package of measures adopted by Parliament, the courts, football clubs and the police need a radical overhaul to provide a proportionate, fair and reliable system that governs football spectators.

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