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In Britain, professional football (soccer) is the major sport and has been the focus of considerable sociological study. This paper argues that previous studies, which have concentrated on football’s relation to class relations and class cultures, have erred by ignoring the role of football finance. Evidence is provided about the relation in Britain between two professional leagues, the English and the Scottish; and the financial situation of four major clubs, two from each side of the border, is traced to reveal significant differences between them. These variations are then used to show how particular patterns of football finance feed into the symbols and images that surround the game in Scotland and that feed into the popular culture of that country in a way which preempts class as the most fruitful line of analysis.
Direct all correspondence to H.F. Moorhouse, Dept. of Sociology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland G12 8RT.