ENGLAND’s football team meet Denmark tonight (July 7) with the backing of a home crowd at Wembley.
But while the Three Lions have benefitted from local support, other teams like Wales, Croatia and Finland have played all their games far from home – a consequence of the 12 host country format opted for by UEFA for the first time in the championship’s history.
So, in seeking to bring the competition to a more varied public did the die-hard fans – and half the teams actually lose out? If so, is the new multi-host formula yet further evidence that stakeholders other than real fans are prioritised by organisers?
This and other questions are raised in a new paper published in the Journal of Consumer Culture by Dr Jan Ludvigsen, a lecturer in Liverpool John Moores University's School of Justice Studies.
Olympics and World Cup
Jan looks at why UEFA took up a European-wide format, who benefitted and in what way it lays down a marker for future so-called mega-events, like the Olympics and the World Cup.
“Stakeholders perceived the new multi-host format as posing less financial risk as fixtures were assigned to already-built stadiums,” says Dr Ludvigsen.
“Given their enormous financial costs, we have seen some countries opting out of the mega-event bidding stages in recent years because of what are termed ‘negative legacies’. If Euro 2020's format becomes increasingly employed in the future, then that will have implications for event and city planners across the globe.
It also poses a new reality for fans and spectators, Jan says: “If you wished to follow your team or individuals for the duration of one of these mega-tournaments, the logistics and the costs are looking very different from what they would in a single venue or host nation.”
- ‘Mega-events, expansion and prospects: Perceptions of Euro 2020 and its 12-country hosting format’ is authored by Dr Jan Ludvigsen and published in the Journal of Consumer Culture.
Dr Jan Ludvigsen teaches on LJMU courses in: Sociology, Sport, Crime & Politics, and Contemporary Issues in Security and Policing