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2015 | 16(4) | 83-99

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The Social Phenomenon of Football: Between civic engagement and politics: A case study of Bohemians Prague 1905 Supporters’ Trust


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The traditional Czech football club the Bohemians Prague has become famous mainly dueto Antonin Panenka and his victorious penalty kick in the finals of the European Championshipin 1976. Less is known of the club’s Supporters Trust Družstvo fanoušků Bohemians(DFB). The DFB was founded in Match 2005 and saved the club from bankruptcyafter several periods of financial mismanagement. Since then, the DFB’s representativeshave been involved in numerous legal disputes over the club’s traditional identity and inopposition to the proposed relocation away from the traditional Ďolíček stadium. Thiseffort has been accompanied by the joint initiative, along with the fans of their main localrivals, Slavia Prague, to found a political movement which was successful in the lastmunicipal elections. By focusing on the heterogenous supporters’ scene of the BohemiansPrague 1905, this case study provides an empirically informed understanding of supporters’engagement in club governance in the following intertwined areas: financial support,cultural representations, emotional involvement, social networks, politics, and legal expertise.Considering the different levels of Bohemians supporters’ involvement, the followingquestions are raised: What is the role of the DFB in relation to club governance?What is the impact of these activities on club governance? The data that underpins theanalysis is drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources available online andoffline. Firstly, 10 semi-structured interviews with supporters and football clubs’ officialshave been carried out. Secondly, 5 non-participant observations during social gathering,municipal council meetings, club events and football matches have been carried out.Thirdly, the research is further informed by a documentary analysis of newspaper articles,e-zines, blogs, internet discussions and websites.





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