On the field, football is unquestionably the beautiful game. From floodlit evenings to cold weekend mornings, the grace, passion and joy of the sport is evident. Some of the greatest players and managers become elevated to Gods or philosophers in our eyes, capable of things that most of us have always dreamed of.
Off the field though, football is harder to define, it becomes so much more than a 90-minute game. The sociology of the sport encompasses politics, music, economics, class struggle and religion, amongst many other influences that shape a club. Silverware and star-signings only tell a small part of the story of our greatest clubs.
True greatness is defined by a multiplicity of factors. It is a subjective concept that is shaped by our own individual beliefs. What is great to one is boring to another. In Clubkultur, we will explore the important cultural aspects of football clubs from all over the world, as our contributors see them.
The term ‘more than a club’ is thrown around often. It’s an elusive tool that is used to sell an idea that a football team is more than it’s name suggests. In this feature, we will look at the teams that have transcended their status as ‘just a club’ – at why, what and how made them so. It’s the exploration of the true essence of the game, a look at the intangible feelings that keep us coming back to support our club, no matter how they’re playing, no matter where. It’s a look at the way culture influences football and in turn football influences our culture.