University invites football fans to have their say in public debate

University news

Wednesday 11 January 2012

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Coventry University and the University of Brighton are inviting football fans to take part in a live public debate on the long-term impact of the Premier League later this month to mark 20 years since the competition began.

The Premier League at 20: the saviour of football? will be chaired by ITV’s veteran football commentator Clive Tyldesley and will bring together a panel of eminent football pundits and professionals from around the UK to talk with fans about the country’s top league.

Among the panel of experts will be Dan Johnson, the Premier League’s director of communications; Patrick Barclay, former chief football commentator at The Times; Jim White, sport columnist with The Telegraph; and Dave Boyle, former chief executive of Supporters Direct.

Coventry University and the University of Brighton have joined forces to organise the event and are inviting football fans from across the country to join the debate, which will be hosted at Coventry University’s London Campus on Monday 23rd January at 6pm.

The two universities will be putting forward their own sports experts to lead discussion around – amongst other things – the influence the Premier League has had on world football, how it has exploited its commercial potential so successfully and whether fans really believe it is the best football league in the world.

Simon Chadwick, professor of sport business strategy and marketing at Coventry University and director of its Centre for the International Business of Sport, said:

The Premier league evokes hugely divergent emotions amongst many people across the world. Some commentators acknowledge it as a business phenomenon that has set new commercial standards for 21st century sport. However, other people take the view that the Premier League has destroyed the game we once knew, to the detriment of a wide range of stakeholders in football.

We anticipate that the event we are hosting will help to crystallise the main arguments on both sides, and thus help in identifying what the issues and challenges facing the Premier League in the coming years.

Jed Novick, senior lecturer in sport journalism at the University of Brighton, said:

Since the Premier League’s inception 20 years ago, so much has changed in the world of football. What these six guys can offer is an invaluable insight into the modern workings of the Premier League.

These are some of the biggest names in football who have been around the game throughout the Premier League era, each with their own unique perspective. It promises to be a real treat for anyone with an interest in modern sport.

The event is free to attend and open to the public, and will take place on Monday January 23rd at Coventry University’s London Campus, East India House, 109-117 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7JF. Arrival is at 6pm for a 6:30pm start.

To book a place at the event, please register by clicking here.

For further information, please contact Alex Roache, External Press & Media Relations Officer, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7679 5050 or email