Maintaining football club identity during COVID-19: the case of the English Premier League

David Edgar, Steven Edgar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


As a result of Covid-19, the UK imposed quarantine restrictions in March 2020. All large gathering of people were against the law and professional league football ceased. In June 2020 the season was allowed to start again but with strict health policies and procedures in place, minimal backroom staff, regulations for goal celebration and stringent cleansing routines. A significant part of the measures was no supporters at games. Instead, games were televised and broadcast live on a range of channels. This unique situation has raised many questions about the role of football in supporter’s lives and the need for the “football fix” in the weekly routine. This chapter focuses on efforts made by football clubs to create an atmosphere and maintain an identity/attachment with their supporters. To do this, we combine principles and underlying theory from identity theory, attachment theory, community theory and Fandom to propose a framework of fan attachment. We apply our framework to the English Premier league to see how all 20 clubs responded to the challenge of maintaining fan identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImpacts and Implications for the Sports Industry in the Post-COVID-19 Era
EditorsArmand Faganel , Igor Rižnar, Arne Baruca
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781799867821
ISBN (Print)9781799867814
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • English Premier League
  • football
  • COVID-19


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