The Social Phenomenon of Football: Between civic engagement and politics: A case study of Bohemians Prague 1905 Supporters’ Trust
Dino Numerato 1 1 - Uniwersytet Karola w Pradze MAeS 2015; 16 (4): ICID: 1189814 Article type: Original article IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The traditional Czech football club the Bohemians Prague has become famous mainly due
to Antonin Panenka and his victorious penalty kick in the finals of the European Championship
in 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 bankruptcy
after several periods of financial mismanagement. Since then, the DFB’s representatives
have been involved in numerous legal disputes over the club’s traditional identity and in
opposition to the proposed relocation away from the traditional Ďolíček stadium. This
effort has been accompanied by the joint initiative, along with the fans of their main local
rivals, Slavia Prague, to found a political movement which was successful in the last
municipal elections. By focusing on the heterogenous supporters’ scene of the Bohemians
Prague 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 following
questions 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 the
analysis is drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources available online and
offline. Firstly, 10 semi-structured interviews with supporters and football clubs’ officials
have 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.